The field of Medical Technology is currently awash with numerous transformative emerging technologies like surgical robotics, genomics, 3D printing, and extended reality.
But few carry the implications for the field as a whole than developments in artificial intelligence (AI).
With the potential to forever alter a multitude of foundational processes across virtually every industry, AI has long since established its value in the world of healthcare. But there’s still much more to achieve.
Below, we’ll cover a few of the burgeoning applications of AI in healthcare and forecast how this will shape the future of medical technology.
Main areas of AI application in health care
Deloitte categorizes the use of AI in health care to three (fairly general) areas:
- Patient-oriented AI – AI radically assists healthcare organizations in prioritizing patient convenience. Instead of having to make multiple time-consuming office visits for checkups or routine care, AI can help facilitate online consultations that leverage remote monitoring to save time and improve the accuracy of diagnoses. This is just one small example of how AI can replace the everyday healthcare procedures that do not require direct human intervention to improve convenience and outcomes for patients.
- Clinician-oriented AI – Cutting-edge developments in artificial intelligence continue to occur, and their applications to assisting clinicians continue to expand. Making (highly accurate) clinical diagnoses and treatment plans, reading radiology images, supporting therapeutic drug and device design, analyzing population health trends, and more are already within the wheelhouse for AI and are to be continued areas of development in the future.
- Administrative- and operational-oriented AI – Perhaps slightly less glamorous, but no less important to the overall system, AI can streamline many of the administrative and operational procedures in health care. From answering the phones and reviewing medical records to talking with patients, the level of convenience and efficiency with which hospital systems can operate has a new, higher ceiling thanks to increased AI implementation across a variety of processes.
Benefits from future AI applications in health care
Experts predict the functions of natural language processing (NLP), machine learning (ML), and AI will drastically improve the quality of care delivered, the entire patient experience, and reduce costs and errors significantly.
Though they are already often used, NLP and ML will become even more heavily-relied upon in the future as they can improve such a wide range of critical objectives like increased patient engagement towards their care, improve provider and clinician productivity, improve new pharmaceutical treatment processes, and better analyze and make use of the incredible amount of data available to hospital systems.
Patients will have quicker, simpler appointment scheduling, easier bill payment, and overall more choice and convenience as AI allows for greater levels of patient self-service.
Health care providers stand to benefit in myriad ways from future developments in artificial intelligence, but must also begin to prepare their organizations for imminent change. Already, organizations are scrambling to outfit their analytic departments with top talent to best capitalize on new data-driven value, as well as investing in infrastructure solutions to support new technologies.
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