Artificial intelligence is being increasingly used in all aspects of our society for both practical and for more informal uses. The medical field is one area in which there is a myriad of ways in which AI can improve performance and knowledge. Health care needs are growing as our society’s median age also grows, and AI promises to be extremely useful in all aspects of health care.
As any medical doctor will tell you, early detection of medical conditions and diseases is important in receiving medical treatment that will have the best outcome. The sooner a problem is discovered, the more likely that there is minimal damage to organs and limited spread to other areas. A recent study conducted by The Lancet compared using AI for analysis of medical imaging against the findings of medical professionals for these same images. According to Logical Medical Systems, the success of AI technologies in the medical field depends on collecting the right data as this study demonstrated by using the same pool of information for both types of diagnoses. The diagnostic results of both groups were found to be equivalent.
It’s not sufficient to simply be a good doctor these days. The amount of information that healthcare professionals have to track has increased tenfold, primarily because of more uses for the data itself, legal regulations and insurance processes. Using AI can effectively manage healthcare workflows and, thus, help doctors be more efficient. In an article for VentureBeat, Charles Koontz of GE Healthcare wrote that AI is needed to manage and quantify the huge amount of health-related data that is growing every year. Koontz detailed how AI is already being used successfully in a collaboration between GE Healthcare and a university, which is shortening the time between diagnosis and treatment by improving workflows.
Drug therapy is often an integral part of a treatment program. According to their website, Bayer, a major pharmaceutical company, has been working with tech companies to help design software applications to be used for diagnosing rare conditions. The statistics that the AI systems are analyzing come from factors like disease causes, symptom information, test results, doctor reports and other similar sources. The information that is collected can then be used to develop new drugs to treat diseases.
AI is not just about smarter machines. It is also about harnessing data by collecting, quantifying and interpreting it accurately and efficiently. We all benefit from this increased knowledge and subsequent applications, and it is inevitable that there will be ever-increasing uses for AI in the medical profession.
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