Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a tour de force in just about every industry. From business owners using AI algorithms to answer simple questions about their company to “Jeopardy” contestants vying against IBM Watson, the speed at which AI has advanced into innumerable industries is astounding. It’s no surprise that this remarkable technology has found a home in healthcare.
AI won’t replace clinicians in the foreseeable future, but this technology has made considerable strides in the medical field, both for doctors and patients. These are some of the ways artificial intelligence has transformed — and will continue to transform — the healthcare industry for the better.
Recent studies have suggested that AI technology has become one of the most effective ways of diagnosing potentially fatal lung cancer. AI tech was pitted against the most popular way to diagnose cancer, low-dose computerized tomography (LDCT) scans. In fact, many researchers claim that LDCT scans are the best way to diagnose lung cancer because they have been shown to help reduce lung cancer rates by 20%. This was an important discovery, given that lung cancer is the leading form of cancer-related deaths in the United States.
But LDCT scans come with their own pitfalls. Most notably, the scan can only detect cancerous tumors in their later stages of development. At this stage, the cancer may be too advanced to effectively treat.
AI technology may top the efforts of LDCT scans. In a recent study performed by Google’s health research Group, AI was effective in identifying malignant lung tumors. This has the potential to revolutionize lung tumor diagnosis and treatment.
The researchers achieved this victory by feeding more than 42,290 LDCT scans into the AI, training the algorithm. Through deep learning, the technology outperformed six trained radiologists, some of whom had 20 years of experience in the field.
According to an author of the study, the AI technology led to 11% fewer false positives and 5% fewer false negatives.
Should AI continue to evolve in 3D applications, it might help countless people catch cancer before it becomes too advanced to work on.
Pharmaceutical companies are among the top users of artificial intelligence, according to a study of more than 1.7 million news stories. Between drug development and sharing information seamlessly among doctors and patients, there have been increasingly varying needs for AI, causing it to thrive in the field.
Pharmaceuticals have primarily benefited from AI due to its ability to map data and identify patterns. This, in turn, helps the AI establish predictions and classify complex new sets of data in extremely short amounts of time. When it comes to establishing entirely new drugs, this it vital for limiting the number of adverse side effects experienced by patients.
The more the AI learns, the faster it will make connections among different data sets. This is a desirable trait for pharmaceuticals, considering drug makers may share data across the web. As a type of data mining, AI can help pharmaceuticals accelerate drug development because it can lead to shorter clinical trials and achieve better results in a shorter time frame.
Many patients already wear smartwatches to help track their health — and some hospitals have started incorporating similar technologies in waiting rooms across the country. With the help of AI, doctors can monitor the health of patients in waiting rooms in real time. This includes basic measurements like heart rate and blood pressure.
This type of tech has also become essential in stopping potentially life-threatening issues from the start. AI can now track abnormalities and other warning signs in a person as soon as they appear. Then the AI can alert the individual, their doctor and any other important persons in the patient’s life.
Better yet, this technology can also encourage specific changes to a person’s lifestyle to make them more healthy. Through a number of health reminders and important interventions, the algorithms can appeal to anyone hoping to manage a chronic condition or improve their health as a whole.
Greg Bolcer is CDO of Bitvore.
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