Technological Advances in Healthcare – Artificial Intelligence

by Bhargav Mehta

Posted on October 26, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Technological Advances in Healthcare

With advancements in technology, the sector which sees the most advancements may not seem as Healthcare. However, it is the sector which has seen improvements by leaps and bounds and still has the highest potential for advancements. This will be substantial in improving our lifestyle and standard of living overall.

  • With the help of technology, we can see a major improvement in the precision and accuracy of the healthcare systems.

  • We will move our healthcare systems from Curing to Caring.

  • The healthcare systems are bound to be decentralized, this will significantly improve the reach of healthcare professionals to reach the patients at the remotest locations.

  • Overall with the help of technology, the entire healthcare systems will become Real Time, Organized, Automated, Integrated and Complete.

In this series, we will see how different technological Advances are impacting the healthcare domain in a significant way.

Artificial Intelligence

Using algorithm, data patterns and machine learning we can analyze the irregularities in the body, relationships between treatment techniques and predict the outcomes. Artificial Intelligence can be used through each step of healthcare; From diagnosis, targeting, medications, monitoring to post-recovery care.

The most common issue we face today is that the illness is detected at quite a later stage where treatment becomes very difficult; In these cases, AI will be most helpful as it can do a contextual analysis based on the other data patterns that are available and not necessarily visible. In diagnosis, AI can examine the tissues and/or other body patterns to determine an abnormality that is currently developing within the body. This can help the patient understand the issues and get effective treatment as soon as possible which can help in tackling the more chronic and life-threatening diseases. This will also be immensely beneficial especially in places where trained doctors are less accessible.

Getting the diagnosis early can almost always help in the treatment. With AI the diagnosis can be non-invasive and routine.

With the help of AI, we can understand the anatomy of the specific patient by understanding their medical history, body patterns and other lifestyle conditions. In certain conditions, this can help the doctors in prescribing exact amounts of medications that will be needed for the patient to recover.

AI can also help in predicting other major post-treatment events such as patient’s likeliness of getting better, time for recovery and chances of the patient to get sick again. This can be beneficial in significantly improving the patient’s time to recovery, can help schedule checkups/visits as well as understanding and evaluating the situation from the perspective of resource and inventory management.

As an example, in order to determine how aggressive, the cancer is, pathologists, doctors diagnose cancer through images of cells. They examine the tissues from the lymph nodes. Google has developed an algorithm that works in tandem with pathologists to increase accuracy. The tool is called Lymph Node Assistant [LYNA]. Google’s LYNA can be used to pick up the cancer cells on tissue images and detect metastatic cancer almost 99% of the time. This is a significant reach as this cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in females across the world. An interesting note related to this is that the researchers found that pathologists who worked with LYNA performed even better than both, the pathologists without the tool and the tool used on its own.

This busts the common myths with AI and gives us an idea of how the AI is not intended to replace the Healthcare Professionals or Doctors, but instead assist them in providing the patient with a better healthcare system overall.

In the next blog, we will see about the impact of IoT technology in Healthcare especially related to Monitoring and Assistance.