AI Revolutionizes Healthcare: Digital Transformation for Better Care

AI In Healthcare: Digital Transformation To Improve Service Delivery

Published datePublished: Mar 27, 2024 ViewsViews: 173
Vikas Kaushik

Vikas Kaushik

CEO
Vikas manages the Global Operations at TechAhead and is responsible for TechAhead’s growth, global expansion strategy, and ensuring customer delight.
AI In Healthcare: Digital Transformation To Improve Service Delivery

Modern healthcare is an ever-evolving landscape, with a ‘new normal’ always around the corner. While most people may associate this phrase with the dreaded occurrence of COVID-19, artificial intelligence has proven that the turn of events does not have to be grim. The use of AI in the healthcare sector is nothing new; the earliest instances can be traced back to the 1970s. However, what’s novel is how AI technology has seamlessly integrated itself into almost every aspect of healthcare, continuing to deliver a wide range of benefits. 

From the simplicity of checking symptoms to the complexity of managing chronic diseases like breast cancer, digital transformation through AI healthcare services can deliver on almost every front. For the healthcare sector, AI is more than just a buzzword; it holds the potential for everything the industry can grow to be in the years to come.

As medical practice continues to evolve, it’s crucial to evaluate the use of AI as an asset in the process of enhancing patient care. This is why today, we’re taking a deeper look at how artificial intelligence usage over the years has enabled clinical practice to progress further, benefitting patients and physicians alike. 

Key Takeaways

  1. The global AI healthcare industry has shown positive growth over the past decade, projecting an upward-sloping annual growth rate in the years to come. 
  2. From disease detection to treatment administration, each facet of healthcare systems has been positively impacted by AI technologies. 
  3. Studies and research have shown that AI can increase precision and accuracy in healthcare delivery, decreasing the amount of time and money required by healthcare facilities. 

Market Overview Of AI Systems In Healthcare Systems

Market Overview Of AI Systems In Healthcare Systems

In 2023, the global size of the AI healthcare industry was worth $22.45 billion. This was a massive jump from $8.2 billion in 2022, and the industry is only expected to grow in the years to come. From the period of 2024-2030, healthcare professionals can expect an annual growth rate of 36.4%, which emphasizes the massive potential of this industry. As the world faces an increase in geriatric population, sedentary lifestyles, and chronic diseases, physicians are adopting several AI and Machine Learning software that can catch diseases in their early stages. This is one of the most significant factors contributing to the industry’s growth. 

One of the most pertinent examples of this in recent history was disease management during the COVID-19 pandemic. As hospitals were flooded with a surge of patients around the globe, healthcare providers had no choice but to rely on artificial intelligence to pull them out of this disastrous situation. Deep learning technologies and predictive analytics were employed to detect and diagnose virus strains in their early stages, including the COVID-19 virus.

The symptoms and pathological findings of the disease were turned into datasets that were constantly fed into these technological modules, which used this information to diagnose COVID-19 patients in the beginning days of their illness. 

As healthcare workers became scarce, AI and ML rose to the challenge of being frontline helpers. Robot-assisted surgeries, clinical trials, and diagnosis were some of the most prominent applications of AI and ML in the healthcare industry in 2023. According to Ronan Levi, the founder of Navina, there are three main AI healthcare trends to be on the lookout for in 2024: meaningful use of AI, explainable AI, and tech-enabled payment models. However, this is certainly not the extent of the field, so let’s look at the current benefits of healthcare AI. 

Revamped Diagnosis And Treatment

Revamped Diagnosis And Treatment

One of the most significant benefits of AI in healthcare is its efficiency and swiftness in diagnostic conditions and creating advanced treatment plans for patients. AI applications have the speed to look through patient records, scans, test results, and any other medical data to spot anomalies and patterns swiftly. This momentum comes in handy as it helps doctors provide an accurate medical diagnosis as soon as possible. Once the condition has been diagnosed, AI can also aid physicians in creating personalized treatment plans for each patient. In a world where health problems are increasing drastically, this proves to be highly significant. 

For instance, AI-powered imaging tools can be used to look at and study CT scans, X-rays, and MRIs. These tools work effectively to spot early illness signs or irregularities that could pose trouble. The remarkable part is that even the smallest changes/irregularities that could be missed by the human eye are picked up by these machine-learning algorithms.

Ultimately, this leads to a quicker and more accurate medical diagnosis and allows for effective treatment. AI can also enhance the efficiency of treatment plans by using data to predict how patients would react to different medicines based on their health records and medical history. 

Healthcare physicians no longer have to rely on their personal guesses, leading to better outcomes for patients. Think of it this way: AI applications provide doctors with an extra set of sharp eyes and a super-powered brain! Gone are the days when the trial and error method was the go-to solution in healthcare. With AI, patients can expect the correct treatment right from the start, reducing the chances of human error. 

This also means that a healthcare provider can rely extensively on these methods because even if the algorithms are overworked, they won’t need breaks. This comes as a breath of fresh air for medical providers who barely had any leverage before due to the intense nature of their jobs. 

A study from the University of Queensland in Australia predicted that by 2030, healthcare professionals will be able to diagnose more issues with advanced precision and a deeper understanding of their underlying causes. According to the study, this will also lead to an increase in at-home monitoring devices powered through AI, eliminating the consistent need for a physician altogether. Deloitte predicted that advancements in AI could lead CAD imaging studies to be better than even the work of radiologists, ensuring increased accuracy. This application of CAD-based systems can also be applied to other departments, such as dermatology, where CAD developments will allow even non-dermatologist physicians to review skin lesions with clarity.

Improved Access Through Chatbots

Improved Access Through Chatbots

Healthcare apps have been an essential part of the market for years already, but AI-powered chatbots are also revolutionizing patient care now. These chatbots can provide better access to several elements of healthcare, especially in rural areas, which might struggle with a shortage of professionals. These bots can provide information on nearby centers, schedule appointments, keep track of medications, and even provide general health information. A 2020 study found that nearly 20% of healthcare workers used ChatGPT regularly, which is one of the several ways of AI communication available in the market today. 

Another research shows that 52% of patients in the US rely on chatbots for medical information. While these AI technologies can not replace health systems entirely, they can certainly make things a lot easier on both ends. Reports say that chatbots save up to $3.6 billion for the healthcare industry, which is precious money that can then be invested into other services and clinical tools to improve patient outcomes. The NHS found that AI software shortened waiting times and reduced missed appointments by 30%. As machine learning and Natural Language Processing continue to advance, these virtual assistants will continue to become increasingly valuable in providing efficient healthcare support without human error.

Combatting Workforce Shortage

Combatting Workforce Shortage

US healthcare organizations are undergoing a massive workforce shortage, affecting everyone from specialized physicians to nurses and technicians. Amidst other factors and consequences, healthcare professionals are having to waste a lot of time on menial tasks such as scheduling appointments and processing medical records. With the usage of AI, these trivial processes can be automated to a great extent, leaving medical professionals to the more complex matters of diagnosis and treatment. This will significantly improve clinician productivity and the quality of care, leading to a better doctor-patient relationship overall.

Allowing Patient Self-Service

Allowing Patient Self-Service

The healthcare ecosystem can be transformed drastically with the use of digital technologies for data sharing. The idea of patient self-service builds on the automation talked about previously. The goal is to enable patients to be self-sufficient in tasks that might otherwise put a lot of administrative workload on healthcare entities. If patients have the opportunity to update their medical forms or pay their bills right from the comfort of their sofas, both the hospital and the patient save time and money. 

This will not only reduce the chance of errors but will also result in increased patient satisfaction and autonomy. The hospital will see a decrease in costs and wait times, enabling it to streamline processes and deliver healthcare with better efficiency. Certain medical facilities have experimented with using self-check-ins for patients when they arrive at the center, which has been shown to significantly reduce traffic at the front desk. Even something as menial as this can have massive long-term productive benefits for healthcare facilities. 

Pharmaceutical Drug Delivery

When a new virus is running rampant and wreaking havoc all around the globe, no one wants to wait long periods for pharmaceutical trials to result in something beneficial. Drug discovery and development is a complex process, which means it’s no surprise that, historically speaking, pharmaceutical procedures have demanded extensive time. However, with AI, that problem can be dealt with. Machine learning and natural language processing can be used in collaboration to make the research process more efficient and effective. 

These AI systems can quickly sift through thousands of hours of research, providing scientists with useful information in the blink of an eye. Without important leads from existing research, drug developers could spend an endless amount of time on each part of their procedure, something that AI can alleviate. Not only will this reduce time, but it will also decrease the amount of money that goes into each pharmaceutical development process. According to NCBI, the US government spent $31.9 billion on the pharmaceutical processes related to COVID-19 vaccines. It’s reasonable to assume that much of this money could have been preserved if AI had been a bigger part of this research. 

“Machine-vision” image analytics can aid pharmaceutical companies in molecular analysis, enabling them to predict the molecules that would be effective for a particular biological target. Without these applications, a large number of tests would have to be run, requiring extensive time and money. Quick-spreading diseases like Ebola and Zika never gave drug developers the benefit of time. AI and machine learning have become highly pertinent in the fight against these invasive and rapidly mutating infectious diseases.

Big Data And Analytics

Big Data And Analytics


The list of the benefits of AI systems is still a long way to go, but the last thing we would like to touch upon is Big Data and Deep Learning Algorithms. It’s no surprise that healthcare is one of the most data-heavy fields in the world. Decades of patient records, health data, and medical research amount to a considerable pile of medical documents, which can be hard to keep as well as regulate. Machine learning becomes crucial here because it enables not just better analysis of massive chunks of patient data but also data mining and identification of trends that may otherwise escape the eye. This will allow medical professionals to become better at mapping interventions and delivering healthcare, improving health outcomes. 

Summary

This is in no way an exhaustive list of the advantages of AI in healthcare settings, but it does touch upon some essential cornerstones. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing can work together to increase the efficiency of the healthcare system on several fronts, ensuring benefits for both patients and hospitals. Better diagnosis, efficient treatment plans, sustainable mining of patient data, accessible chatbots, and patient self-service are just some of the benefits we have seen from the use of these technologies; the future holds several more. Thus, investment in AI can go a long way for medical professionals, saving precious time and energy in the long run. AI will never entirely replace human clinicians, but it can aid their job significantly.

FAQs

What are the benefits of AI in healthcare?

The benefits of AI in healthcare include gathering and storing information, data analysis, and provision of valuable data-driven insights to treat and manage diseases. 

What are the benefits of AI in medical imaging?

The benefits of AI in medical imaging include speeding up the interpretation of medical images and the disease detection process. 

What is an example of AI in the healthcare sector?

AI in healthcare can be seen in numerous areas, such as surgery-assisting robotic tools, administrative tasks such as automated invoicing, and more. 

Can we trust healthcare AI?

AI in healthcare is an emerging field, which means that patient trust may still require time to develop.

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