The potential for AI in healthcare

May 1, 2024 | 3 Min Read

Table of Contents

Artificial intelligence (AI) is helping to revolutionise healthcare as we know it, from assisting with surgeries, and diagnosing disease, to developing new drugs. According to research studies, AI can perform as well as, or better than, humans at key healthcare tasks.

Here are 6 ways AI can improve the quality of healthcare around the world:  

When it comes to detecting and diagnosing diseases earlier, AI can be a game changer. According to research, AI can be as effective at detecting diseases in the early stages, such as cancer or heart disease, as human radiologists. AI technology is being used to analyse medical images, such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, a lot more quickly and thoroughly than humans are able to. For example, AI-powered algorithms can detect signs of cancer in mammograms with a high degree of accuracy, which can help doctors make a diagnosis and plan treatment a lot more quickly.
Wearable devices like smart watches generate vast amounts of data on bodily functions such as your heart rate, temperature, blood pressure, activity level and sleep quality. AI algorithms then analyse the data to identify patterns and anomalies that may indicate emerging health issues or risks. These devices can provide real-time data that can complement lab tests and imaging scans, and help with early intervention by alerting users and doctors when potential issues arise. 
Robots have revolutionised the practice of surgery since their introduction more than 30 years ago, from simple laboratory robots to highly complex surgical robots that can either aid a surgeon or perform operations by themselves. AI-enabled robots can be used to assist surgeons during procedures to enhance precision and reduce the risk of human error. Keyhole surgery, for example, reduces the time patients need to recover by operating through smaller incisions. This reduces the chance that patients catch infections, and accelerates their recovery. One study found that robot assisted surgery experienced a 52 per cent jump in success rate.
AI in healthcare can improve patient care by cutting down on research time, facilitating the better use of resources, and reducing errors. Integrating medical AI into clinician workflows can also give healthcare professionals valuable context while they’re making important decisions about treatments. 
AI-powered virtual assistants and chatbots can help patients access healthcare information and services more easily. For example, a chatbot can answer questions about your symptoms or help you schedule an appointment with a doctor.
Discovering and developing new drugs to treat disease is both costly and time-consuming, but with the help of AI, costs could be reduced and promising new drugs could be found much faster. AI can be used to examine data on drug interactions and side effects, as well as to predict which compounds will be most effective in treating certain conditions. This can speed up the drug discovery and development process, which may ultimately lead to new treatments for patients.
AI in healthcare has huge and wide reaching potential, from eliminating human error, and making the lives of medical professionals easier, to improving the way patient care is delivered. It has the potential to bring enormous benefits to the healthcare landscape over the coming years, as AI continues to be developed and used more widely.  

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