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In the last few years, artificial intelligence (AI) has become a major buzzword in healthcare. From white coats to white lab coats, AI is everywhere, and it’s not going anywhere soon. But what does this mean for us as human beings, and how will it affect the future of healthcare?
Although AI has been adopted in many fields to improve efficiency and accuracy, its potential for human health may be the most profound. With all of the recent activity, we thought it was timely to discuss the different ways AI will change the landscape of healthcare.
With an AI-enabled healthcare system, doctors can diagnose illnesses more accurately and prescribe better treatments for patients. Why is this so important? The answer is simple: every year there are over 7 million deaths caused by preventable diseases, and this statistic is only expected to increase as time goes on.
The future of AI is in its human-centered approach. At a recent Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine & Imaging (AIMI) virtual conference, researchers from Stanford University discussed how a human doctor can learn from data provided and analyzed by an AI algorithm.
By providing doctors access to an artificially intelligent system that is able to compile patient data from many disparate sources into a single location for analysis, their diagnostic abilities can be enhanced and accelerated, which can be especially helpful for patients who need more intense treatment plans or during emergency situations where time is critical.
Doctors are able to spend less time on tasks like reviewing charts and records of previous patients who have experienced a similar condition and more efficiently determine which tests to order, predict the prognosis, and prescribe and administer treatments.
At the hospital-level, organizations can more easily access patient data across their departments that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to find without an advanced search engine. Greater insights regarding patient outcomes that can be fed into quality assessment and improvement programs can reduce the burden on hospital staff and improve patient care across the organization.
Clinical data abstraction is a method of populating patient data registries, which are used to centralize data about patients with specific conditions, who have undergone a certain procedure, or who are using a medical device.
These data are then used for many purposes, including quality assessments, quality improvement programs, research using real-world data, and improving patient outcomes. Using AI to automate clinical data abstractionfrom the many large databases containing millions of patient records speeds up the process of populating registries and reduces data transfer errors.
Ultimately, these data can provide concrete information from previous patients for physicians to base treatment decisions for current patients — resulting in less trial and error and treatments tailored specifically for the patient.
Big data is another buzzword throughout the healthcare industry as well as medical research. But with big data comes the need to quickly parse and understand those data to generate insights. Because AI can test large numbers of variables simultaneously, it lends itself well to leveraging big datasets for drug and medical device discovery development. Faster, cheaper development timelines mean better treatments delivered to the patients who needed them — faster and at lower consumer prices.
Electronic personal health information (ePHI) is governed by strict safeguards to mitigate privacy issues with data being accessed by AI systems, which may otherwise be a reason for concern for both patients and caregivers. These include National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), HIPAA, and SOC2 standards.
AI can help us in ways we never dreamed of, and there is no shortage of companies developing AI-powered healthcare technologies. It seems like, at every turn, there are new ways in which AI assists humans to improve the accuracy and quality of the care delivered, from algorithms that diagnose cancer correctly 95% of the time to robots that can perform surgeries with less risk of infection.
AI will continue to significantly affect humans and will play a major role in improving healthcare and patient outcomes. However, the question is — how do we ensure AI enhances our humanity instead of replacing it?
AI has the potential to remove many of the tedious, time-consuming tasks that healthcare providers have to perform daily, refocusing their time back on the patient and allowing them to provide more personalized, higher quality care. In a sense, it can restore humanity for physicians and patients alike and put the “care” back in “healthcare.”
Read more on how Carta’s industry-leading, AI-driven technology allows healthcare organizations to collect, analyze, and act on their data, creating a quality, trustworthy dataset whose value fuels data-driven decisions that ultimately improve care delivery.