Power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) - Hospitals and Healthcare

BY: Abdullah Saleem, Group CIO, Incor, Omni Hospitals - 13 Sep-2022

Q. How has AI transformed healthcare delivery? What are some of the notable use cases that you recall?

An artificial intelligence (AI) system defeated elite doctors in China in a two-round brain tumour diagnosis competition AI was correct 87% of the time and took about 15 minutes to diagnose 225 cases in the first round while the doctors achieved 66 percent accuracy in 30 minutes, in the second round  AI made correct predictions in 83% of brain hematoma expansion cases in just 3 minutes surpassing the 63% accuracy of a group of physicians, who took 20 minutes researchers fed the AI system with thousands of images of nervous system-related diseases.

Down the line, the EMR / EHR /PHR would be developed and made to empower the doctors with AI to enable one of the best OPTION impacting everything from patient experience to diagnostics, it would be wondering how long it will be before it's considered incomplete to diagnose a patient’s disease without using AI.

Q. What according to you could be the growing potential of AI-based tools for healthcare delivery?

Largely, the AI is going to be embedded in all the clinical pathways to enable a strong clinical application / CDSS which will not be allowing to the treating doctors / treating clinical team to change the content of the treatment by more than 10 to 15 percent at the point of care to deliver the patient care. The AI will also be integrated into runtime with clinical treatment guidelines like NCCN, ESC, ACC, etc to make the most accurate prediction to enable the treatment protocol for the treating doctors / treating clinical team at the point of care. The Artificial (AI) and Predictive Analytics (PA) is the only component which is going to reduce the clinician’s involvement to execute the treatment mechanism by 60-70% plus. As far as the potential of AI is concerned, no clinical application would be accepted by healthcare providers if it has not been made with a deeper AI touch because it is the only component to deliver quality care to reduce clinical errors and better outcomes.

Q. The growing digital footprints and technology trends have enhanced the healthcare systems, but there still lies the need for human manpower. Where are the gaps in curating the healthcare data? 

Artificial intelligence has got multiple applications outside of treating and responding to the pandemic. AI is incredibly helpful for improving efficiency with information processing and decision-making for clinicians. In the healthcare industry, AI & machine learning is extremely helpful for the development of new pharmaceuticals and the efficiency of diagnosis processes. A few of the researchers have utilized machine learning to track trends and mental health in correlation to the COVID-19 pandemic. By using an AI model, they were able to analyze thousands of online Reddit messages to find that topics of suicidality and loneliness had nearly doubled over a period of time. This has the potential to transform the understanding of the mental health of larger populations. 

However, AI & ML will not replace complete human intervention, but they will be an unavoidable tool for clinicians to adapt during delivering care delivery.

There is no denying that the healthcare  AI market is brimming with innovations that crop up at an astounding rate. Having said that, it is easy to jump to the conclusion that clinics will inevitably replace doctors with artificial intelligence one day. But in all likelihood, it will never happen, and clinician’s/care teams don’t need to worry about their involvement to deliver the care delivery. 

AI and Robots cannot show empathy, sympathy, and compassion as these are one of the key elements of quality healthcare. It improves patient satisfaction and promotes healing. Unfortunately, empathy and sympathy is unachievable for an automated machine, and that is the main argument against autonomous AI in healthcare.

Though AI can outperform doctors in a variety of tasks, it cannot become a human being. Only a flesh-and-blood clinician can support the patient during a challenging treatment process, hold their hand while breaking life-changing diagnosis news to them, entertain a scared child during drawing blood or genuinely worry about their patients. We might teach robots to mimic these things, but sincerity cannot be taught. 

As far as the gaps in curating the healthcare data is concerned, it is related to a challenge from the healthcare provider/hospital's side to consolidate the clinical data which could be coming from multiple resources like medical devices, and interoperability. In other words, this process includes activities like data selection, classification, validation, and remediation of disparate data that comes from multiple sources. The current trend is trying to mitigate this challenge by adopting the technology to have 100% clinical data consolidation to enable better CDSS at the Point of care to the clinicians and other HCPs. 

However, most hospitals are in the evolving phase to ensure data consolidation so that AI can be enabled much more effective way to get better clinical outcomes. This challenge would be mitigated in the coming days as the adoption of the technology, especially in the healthcare industry is way ahead post-pandemic across the globe.

Q. AI-enabled robots can be a big boon in healthcare. How do you think it is helping doctors in their day-to-day life?

Yes, of course, Robots are helping the surgeons especially, today, in medical science, Robotic systems already provide a wide range of services in healthcare, including surgical assistance, patient rehabilitation, cleaning and sterilization, dispensing drugs, and remote diagnosis, it improves patient satisfaction and promotes healing. It is being used to reduce surgical errors and make surgery less invasive for thousands of patients, it gives surgeons more precise control for a range of procedures.

It puts consumers in control of health and well-being quickly. Additionally, AI Robots increase the ability of healthcare professionals to have a better understanding of the day-to-day patterns and needs of the people they care and treat for, and with that understanding, HCPs can provide better feedback, guidance, and support for staying well & healthy.

AI is getting increasingly sophisticated at doing what the human being does, but more efficiently, more quickly, and at a much lower cost. The potential for both AI and robotics in healthcare is immense and evolving. Just like in our everyday lives, AI and robotics are increasingly a part of the healthcare ecosystem. India is one of the countries that is adopting and promoting robotic tools to deliver care delivery more cost-effective and clinically error-free. 

Q. What more can be done to enhance healthcare innovations in India?

Over the last decade, technologies have been driving the healthcare industry through various innovations in how it finds, prevents, and cures diseases. This should not have happened without the gigantic growth of AI-driven technologies and digitization of healthcare workflows & clinical pathways as a response to more savage global conditions, as well as the rising demand for accessible and quality healthcare services.

As we press on into the future, it is critical to remain mindful of the trends driving healthcare technology in 2022 and the coming year. Although the legacy software and infrastructure which still fulfills a business need is critical to the success of modern hospitals and care centres, it is important that we consider how those systems can integrate with newer technologies or how they may eventually be replaced with more reliable healthcare echo-systems. The focus should be on improving performance, productivity, efficiency, and data security without sacrificing reliability, sustainability, and accessibility.

If you are ready to explore the technological innovations driving the healthcare industry towards digital transformation in the coming year, let us look at the most important technologies that have the potential to transform your organization with cost-effectiveness and affordability.

The Indian Hospitals should have a much better understanding and believe that without digital transformation, better and cost-effective care delivery, patient, and clinician satisfaction cannot be achieved. Also, the Hospitals should allot the Information Technology budget by 2.00 to 2.5% of their revenue each year to have state-of-the-art technology-based applications and tools in place always. Apart from it, the Indian hospitals should be very innovative by: 
•          Make innovation part of your culture
•          Empowered consumers
•          Create a governance structure
•          Innovate through collaboration
•          Think 'out-of-the-box' for funding
•          Use small pilots to innovate
•          Data sharing
•          Interoperability
•          AI in Diagnosis and drug development 
•          Natural language processing (NLP)
•          Complying with regulation
•          Data & Security 
•          Virtual health technology

*This article has been published by VOH team.*

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