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Supporting healthcare with artificial intelligence and machine learning

The predicted impacts of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are so overwhelming that the concept has rippled through societies. It’s in books, movies, and TV shows. But, the public’s exposure to AI and machine learning via these platforms is not an accurate representation of its impacts on their life, nor how it will in the very near future. To see the real story, all we have to do is look at the advancements of AI in healthcare.

 

The past, the present, and the future of AI in healthcare

 

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The increasing availability of healthcare data and rapid development of big data analytic methods over the past decade are what have allowed for the most recent AI applications in healthcare. Before this technology was introduced, human error was an accepted and expected part of healthcare. Unfortunately, this costs billions of pounds and thousands of lives each year. While there is still so much to overcome and achieve, AI is changing this.

 

AI advancements in healthcare

 

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There are multiple healthcare sectors where the advancements in medical AI machinery are becoming more apparent:

 

  • AI-assisted robotic surgery – With an estimated value of $40 billion to healthcare, robots can analyse medical records to guide a surgeon’s hand during surgery leading to a 21% reduction in a patient’s hospital stay.
  • Virtual nursing assistants – Available 24/7, these could save the healthcare industry $20 billion annually, providing wellness checks through voice and AI.
  • Clinical judgement and diagnosis – This process is undeniably in its infancy, but that means it is only going to get better from here. AI is being used to help diagnose critical illnesses like cancers with significantly higher accuracy than humans.
  • Workflow and administrative tasks – Providing automation in administration, this can save the healthcare industry approximately $18 billion.
  • Image analysis – This is a time-consuming task for humans, but machine-learning algorithms have been developed to analyse 3D scans up to 1000 times faster.

 

You can read more about the exciting advancements and research into each of these technologies here. What we are noticing, more than the changes in technology, are the ways it is changing the medical workforce across the world.

 

But there are challenges with implementing AI tools in healthcare including:

  • Data security
  • Privacy
  • Cost
  • Finding the right professionals to develop the tools

 

Artificial intelligence is fuelling a need for a digital workforce in healthcare

 

There have been countless concerns that AI will eventually replace the need for human surgeons and a wide range of healthcare professionals. AI is still a long way from being able to replace human workers. However, the McKinsey report on Big Data revealed that the United States alone will face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 data scientists, as well as 1.5 million data managers. The demand for professionals working with AI and big data and digital security is only going to increase in healthcare.

 

Medical AI companies to watch

 

If you are interested in working in medical AI development or management, there are several companies making waves with new AI who are expanding their horizons.

 

UK – Skin analyticsBabylon Health, Cambridge CognitionDeepmind TechnologiesBenevolentAI

 

Germany – Ada Health

 

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