- Virtual Assistants for Patients and Healthcare Workers
The key driver for adopting virtual nursing assistants has been the shortage of medical labor that often leads to pressure on the available healthcare workers. A virtual assistant powered by AI can enhance the communication between patients as well as the care provider while leading to better consumer experience and reduced physician burnout.
With a voice recognition technology, voice biometrics, EHR integrations, and a speaker customized for healthcare, Nuance Communication had unveiled an artificial virtual assistant in September 2017.
When physicians appear to be taking time with their patients, the latter feel cared for and carry a sense of contentment.
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A virtual assistant can carry out an initial dialog between the patient and healthcare provider, setting the tone for more in-depth conversations later. By doing so, a virtual assistant for healthcare can take some responsibilities off the shoulders of physicians, allowing them to focus on delivering better service and care.
Chatbots powered by AI can make a world of difference to healthcare. A report by Juniper Research states that chatbots will be responsible for saving $8 billion per annum of costs by 2022 for Retail, e-Commerce, Banking, and Healthcare.
As inquiry resolution, times get reduced, and the initial communication gets automated, the healthcare sector can expect massive cost savings through the use of chatbots.
AI-powered bots can help physicians in healthcare diagnosis through a series of questions where users select their answers from a predefined set of choices and are then recommended a course of action accordingly. The same research study also predicts that the success of chatbot interactions where no human interventions take place will go up to 75% in 2022 from 12% in 2017.
Knowledge management systems will become a critical part of chatbots for AI where the common questions and answers would be accumulated throughout the life of a solution, aiding in the learning process of the chatbot. You can read more about how conversational AI will impact healthcare in this article.
- Robots for Explaining Lab Results
In 2017, Scanadu developed doc.ai. The application takes away one task from doctors and assigns it to the AI — the job of interpreting lab results. The company’s first software solution makes sense out of blood tests. The application was planned to interpret genetic tests, and then other tests would be added to the list.
The platform works with natural language processing to converse with the patients via a mobile app and explains their lab results to them in a way they can understand. The technology is powered by AI and relieves doctors from their not-so-favourite part of the healthcare process, allowing them to focus on the more critical aspects.
Microsurgical procedures in the healthcare space require precision and accuracy. Robots powered with AI are assisting physicians to help reduce variations that could affect patient health and recovery in the longer term.
Robot-aided procedures can compensate for the differences in the skills of physicians in cases of new or difficult surgeries, which often lead to implications for the health of the patient, or the costs of the procedure.
Inefficiencies and poor outcomes will be substantially reduced, ultimately leading to better patient care and service delivery. With robots conducting or assisting doctors in surgeries, training costs can be saved, and routine tasks can be automated with precision.
- Automated Image Diagnosis with AI/ML
Medical image diagnosis is another AI use case in healthcare. One of the most significant issues that medical practitioners face is sifting through the volume of information available to them, thanks to EMRs and EHRs. This data also includes imaging data apart from procedure reports, pathology reports, downloaded data, etc.
In the future, patients will send even more data through their remote portals, including images of the wound site to check if there is a need for an in-person check-up after a healing period.
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These images can now be potentially scanned and assessed by an AI-powered system. X-rays are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to medical imaging. We also have MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds.
IBM’s celebrated implementation of AI, Watson, already has applications of AI in healthcare. IBM’s AI-powered radiology tool, IBM Watson Imaging Clinical Review sets the ground for more innovation to happen in the image diagnosis aspect of healthcare.
- Personal Health Companions Powered by AI
People today need medical assistance in the comfort of their homes, for as long as they can.
For the first preliminary overview of any symptom, personal health companions have become popular amongst people all around the world.
Babylon Health is a UK-based start-up that has developed a chatbot for the early prevention and diagnosis of diseases. When the application receives a symptom explanation from a user, it compares the same to its database and recommends an appropriate course of action based on the history of the patient, his circumstances, and the symptoms he reports.
- Rare Diseases Detection with AI
While their detection is one of them, we also need to ensure our healthcare systems are not inclined towards detecting rare diseases when the diagnosis could be something commonplace. Through a series of neural networks, AI is helping healthcare providers achieve this balance. Facial recognition software is combined with machine learning to detect patterns in facial expressions that point us towards the possibility of a rare disease.
Moon developed by Diploid enables early diagnosis of rare diseases through the software, allowing doctors to begin early treatment. Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare carries special significance in detecting rare diseases earlier than they usually could be.
- Health Monitoring with AI and Wearables
Health monitoring is already a widespread application of AI in Healthcare. Wearable health trackers such as those offered by Apple, Fitbit, and Garmin monitor activity and heart rates.
These wearables are then in a position to send all of the data forward to an AI system, bringing in more insights and information about the ideal activity requirement of a person.
These systems can detect workout patterns and send alerts when someone misses out their workout routine. The needs and habits of a patient can be recorded and made available to them when need be, improving the overall healthcare experience. For instance, if a patient needs to avoid heavy cardiac workout, they can be notified of the same when high levels of activity are detected.
The role of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare is not limited to these. As trends emerge and physicians look for newer ways to improve healthcare services and experiences for patients, we will have novel concepts turning into reality.
While the healthcare space is buzzing with innovation, it will be a while before these systems can be made affordable, scalable, and available to all healthcare institutions.
AI working hand-in-hand with doctors, physicians, and healthcare providers are likely to continue to be the current course for a while, and eventually, it will get to a point where it will be a crawl-walk-run endeavour with less complex tasks being addressed by bots.
At Maruti Techlabs, we work extensively with leading hospitals and healthcare providers by assisting them in deploying virtual assistants that address appointment booking, medical diagnosis, data entry, in-patient, and out-patient query address and automate customer support through the use of intelligent chatbots and Robotic Process Automation.