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AI and ML: Changing the way healthcare is delivered

Dr Varun Garg, Co-Founder & CEO, DocPlix highlights that AI and ML are reshaping different facets of healthcare delivery, research, and decision-making, which is reinventing the health care industry

The healthcare industry has advanced significantly, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). While ML is a subset of AI that focuses on using data and statistical approaches to enable machines to learn and improve their performance, AI is the broader field that involves the development of intelligent systems. The algorithms and techniques that enable machines to become intelligent and capable of carrying out difficult tasks are provided by ML, which is a key component of AI.

AI and ML are reshaping different facets of healthcare delivery, research, and decision-making, which is reinventing the health care industry. AI technologies are currently being integrated into larger healthcare processes and workflows to generate ground-breaking innovations, along with the traditionally relied tasks like medical image analysis or diagnosis support.

Healthcare providers are receiving real-time decision support from AI systems. To provide individualised suggestions for diagnosis, treatment plans, and pharmaceutical selections, they can assess patient data, medical literature, treatment guidelines, and historical data. This raises the standard and precision of care while assisting healthcare practitioners in making educated judgements.

AI also serves to improve electronic health record (EHR) systems. Artificial intelligence can better the accuracy and accessibility of patient data by extracting structured information from unstructured clinical notes and documents using natural language processing (NLP) techniques. This promotes better clinical decision-making and more effective and efficient management of health records.

Wearables, sensors, and other connected devices can provide real-time patient data collection and analysis for AI-powered monitoring systems. Healthcare professionals are now able to remotely monitor patients’ health states, spot irregularities, and quickly intervene when necessary. It makes it possible to provide ongoing, individualised care outside of the typical healthcare settings, which lowers hospital admissions and improves patient outcomes.

AI systems’ ability to evaluate vast amounts of population health data in order to spot trends and disease risk factors is another significant application of the technology. Healthcare professionals can take proactive action and put preventative measures in place, including lifestyle changes or early screenings, to lower the incidence and burden of chronic diseases like cancer.

In the fields of genomics and precision medicine, AI and ML are essential. They are able to identify certain disease subtypes, forecast treatment outcomes, and create targeted medicines by analysing genetic and molecular data. With the use of AI, clinical data and sophisticated genomic data may be combined to create individualised treatment plans based on each patient’s particular genetic profile.

Now a days, AI could also improve resource allocation and healthcare operations. Healthcare institutions can efficiently manage resources, such as beds and equipment, by using forecasting and predictive analytics to anticipate patient flows. As a result, waiting times are decreased, operational efficiency is increased, and utilisation of resources is improved.

Virtual assistants and chatbots with AI capabilities are being utilised more frequently to interact with patients, answer questions, and offer health information. In order to encourage patient education and self-management, these AI systems can provide personalised recommendations, prescription reminders, and lifestyle advice.

The integration of AI and ML in healthcare brings numerous advantages that positively impact various aspects of the industry as discussed above. AI is being actively incorporated into healthcare systems to enhance operational effectiveness, patient outcomes, and care delivery. It could change healthcare into a more individualised, effective, and patient-centred system.

Despite the enormous upside that AI and ML hold for the healthcare industry, there is growing attention to ensuring ethical and responsible AI use. These include safeguarding data security and privacy, upholding moral and open use of algorithms, resolving concerns about bias and fairness, and successfully integrating new technologies into current healthcare operations.

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