AI and Machine Learning are transforming the healthcare industry, improving people’s health and increasing life expectancy. Healthcare IT acquisitions are on the Rise and patients and professionals are already using forms of AI to schedule appointments and monitor their health. However, there are many other advancements on the horizon when it comes to AI and healthcare.
The SPHERE project is an example of of a fully-encompassing AI health system. It uses sensors around a home to build a picture of how people live. This information can then be used to spot issues that might indicate a medical or well-being problem, such as overly sedentary behaviour, a leading cause of a variety of health problems. It can also sense correlations between diet and sleep, changes in posture or patterns of movement, eating issues, and periods of depression or anxiety (and provide an automated therapist). It can predict falls, detect strokes and summon help when needed.
Imaging technology such as MRIs and CT scans have eliminated the need for costly, invasive and painful exploratory surgeries for years. Nowadays, machine learning algorithms allow practitioners to process massive amounts of imaging data instantaneously, saving time and money. It’s also more precise when it comes to reading results, and can identify conditions that physicians might not be looking for if they are focused on resolving another health issue.
Most care providers are now using electronic health records (EHRs), which make it easier to discover illnesses and develop treatment plans. AI technology will soon help improve on this already existing technology to prevent repetitive tasks and automate recordkeeping by improving on existing innovations such as voice recognition. Additionally, care providers will be able to use AI to collect information from various sources, such as sensors and wearable health devices, and feed that information directly into a patient’s EHR.
Early detection of cancer is now available thanks to AI, and Genomic medicine is using genetics in the fight as well. Specialists are now developing treatments that focus on genomic alterations, rather than where tumors are present, which cuts down on radiation treatments. Genomic sequencing has allowed researchers to discover hundreds of cancer related aberrations, and Biotech company Mammoth Biosciences has developed the world’s first and only CRISPR-enabled detection platform, capable of sensing any biomarker or disease with DNA/RNA, and curing it at a molecular level. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave expedited approval to the application of a single test for the diagnosis of all solid tumors, and they also use genome sequencing themselves to trace the origins of foodborne illnesses.
It’s a fact that there are not enough primary care doctors available for everyone to provide preventative care and treat illnesses or injuries, so professionals are leaning more heavily on technology for support. There are many benefits to a digital assistant. A bot can directly connect a patient to the appropriate contacts, give appointment details and help with scheduling. Kore.ai is an example of a smart bot for healthcare facilities. Patients can refill prescriptions or pay bills at their convenience. They can receive lab, test and procedure results and get the recommended next steps. a digital assistant also gives patients the convenience of support beyond business hours and more control over their overall health and wellness updates.
Because hospitals require high-quality clinical staff for their patients day and night, they need a fast, responsive healthcare labor marketplace. Cerebro connects healthcare facilities with verified, ready-to-work clinicians. The app also notifies clinicians of new assignments that might be a good fit. Because there are no minimum contracts, the flexibility is high and hospitals find the staff they need when they need it, and clinicians work the hours they want when they want it.
Safedrugbot is a chat messaging service for health professionals working with pregnant and breastfeeding women. It provides readily accessible drug information guides and works as a virtual assistant. Izzy is a period tracker, birth control reminder, and reproductive health information assistant designed to talk to women ‘like a friend’. The goal is to support women through personalised and non-judgemental technology, empowering them to understand and manage their own reproductive health. They are currently working on a pain tracking app that will someday lead to an earlier diagnosis for endometriosis.
The Internet of Medical Things, or Healthcare IoT, is a connected infrastructure of medical devices and software applications that communicate with various healthcare IT systems. Activity trackers, such as FitBit, are used to monitor steps and other data. That data can then be shared with a physician to provide feedback or sent to friends and family, or just used to help a person stay informed about their own fitness.