Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has been useful in developing many different industries for many unique purposes. U.S. health care spending grew 4.3% in 2016, reaching $3.3 trillion or $10,348 per person, based on recent figures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Many healthcare providers are looking to develop the technology for use in many different avenues within the sector that will greatly benefit the industry for years to come. Let’s explore how AI is slated to be useful in innovating the healthcare industry via being integrated into radiology tools, administrative functions that pertain to Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR), and robotic surgery.
The process of providing a diagnosis to a patient usually takes much introspection by a nurse or doctor. This process sometimes takes valuable time away from staff that keeps them from seeing other patients. With human diagnosis errors being responsible for 10% of patient deaths and anywhere between 6-17% of all hospital complications, healthcare providers are looking for AI solutions to take away this human error altogether. AI solutions also are slated to eliminate the need to take physical tissue samples obtained through biopsies for use in developing diagnoses. With the use of enhanced AI radiology and medical imaging tools, a hospital’s staff can make more accurate and detailed diagnoses that cuts down on errors.
Healthcare providers are so convinced that AI is the solution for radiology departments that they are willing to invest more than $2 billion for the deployment of AI technologies for medical imaging every year after 2023. This choice to focus on AI will allow those who utilize diagnostic imaging components with higher productivity and accuracy that will lead to a more personalized treatment plan for all patients. With many countries currently experiencing a shortage of radiologists, AI can help hospital staffs handle larger volumes of imaging when necessary.
AI could impact healthcare through the automation of administrative tasks which could result in $18 billion in savings for the healthcare industry. AI can be utilized to assist doctors, nurses and other providers with tasks such as ordering tests, prescribing medications and writing patient chart notes. Over time, AI-enabled healthcare initiatives could lead to the dwindling of the human workforce as less support staff would be needed to interact with patients. This might seem like bad news on paper, but it could end up saving the U.S. healthcare system roughly $300 billion per year.
The most famous and widely used AI robotic surgery tool is the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System. Approved for use by the FDA in 2000, da Vinci offers surgeons with a minimally invasive tool that is predominantly used during hysterectomies and prostate removal procedures. Nearly 5,000 da Vinci surgical systems are currently in use around the world and more than 200,000 procedures are undertaken every year with the assistance of a da Vinci. These robotic surgical systems still require human interaction to function, thus the chances of a complication occurring is reported to be slightly higher in cases where there is either a technical system or user error involved.
Without a doubt, AI adoption in the healthcare sector is a game-changer. If utilized strategically and implemented correctly, AI could theoretically raise the productivity of registered nurses by 40-50%. This versatile technology can be easily integrated into a healthcare provider’s environment to supplement and aid hospital staff in making the best recommendations for personalized patient care based on expert analysis driven by intricately crafted learning algorithms.