April 10, 2017

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

Artificial intelligence in healthcare

Whether it’s Artificial Intelligence in healthcare, Blockchain, Big data or IoT (internet of things), it looks like healthcare is becoming computerised in the hope of improving outcomes, cutting costs and easing the access of data. We’ve written a blog post on big data in healthcare, but what about IoT, artificial intelligence and Blockchain?

With the fast advancements in technology are we entering a new era where we don’t need to visit doctors? In fact wouldn’t it be great if our data could be accessed safely in real time from a mobile phone? We could get accurate diagnosis saving money on readmissions and potentially saving patient’s lives in the process. A computerised system collecting and storing information on patients is a good start. Whilst not completely replacing doctors any time soon, a computerised system provides doctors with the tools to efficiently and reliably assess patients. With Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Big data and IoT being used within healthcare, we’re probably not far away from fewer visits to a doctor and more interaction with a computer.

Why the shift from human to computer? Much of the problem lies in the speed and efficiency of accessing data. By using Artificial Intelligence in healthcare, there could be the potential to organise and improve patient treatment plans and provide physicians with all the information they need in real time. What AI could provide physicians is a platform to manage, collect and store patient data. For example, the vision behind the DeepMind project is to reduce the number of patients suffering from medical error or harm. By using a type of artificial intelligence technology to analyse medical data, the aim is to improve the diagnoses and treatment of illnesses.

Blockchain on the other hand focuses on data exchange, within a healthcare setting; it’s the movement of electronic health records and patient information. Most commonly used to power Bitcoin, there is a growing belief that blockchain technology has its benefits in healthcare. Whether it is from doctor-to-hospital or from hospital-to-hospital, implementing blockchain within a healthcare setting could improve the safety in sharing patient data.

As for the internet of things, at its core is connecting devices to the internet. But just not the usual devices such as smartphones or computers. Within healthcare, it could include wearables to glucose monitors to even ultrasounds, capturing valuable patient data which may help with diagnoses and treatment. By 2020 the healthcare IoT market is expected to hit the $117 billion mark. By using IoT in healthcare, there is greater potential for remote monitoring, which means less visits to the doctors and more interaction via digital platforms.

What is for sure is there’s a place in healthcare to store and access data via a computerized system. Whether it is Artificial intelligence in healthcare, blockchain or the Internet of things, collectively they are changing how doctors treat patients, saving money and making treatment more efficient and tailored to each patient. However, we’re a long way off from a completely computerized system. With the future of healthcare moving towards data and analytics, improving real time decision making or aiding in medical treatment and avoiding errors is a step in the right direction.