Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the healthcare sector by issuing healthcare cards for virtual counseling using synchronous and asynchronous methods. Today, AI replicates the work of doctors and machines, which utilizes algorithms to provide quick and accurate results.
The potential of Artificial Intelligence was understood thoroughly during the pandemic, which saw an increase in the need to employ AI in healthcare. Smartwatches gathering blood pressure and heart rate data for virtual visits were a proactive measure to implement treatment options.
Let us understand how the telehealth revolution is here to stay and bring a revolution in the healthcare industry.
1. Investment in Healthcare AI Technologies
As per KPMG’s new study, over 82% of executives from healthcare and life sciences are moving towards adopting AI. Furthermore, as per 56% of business leader reports, AI has assisted in delivering more value to organizations.
Investments in AI technologies skyrocketed during the pandemic when it played a significant role in monitoring cases, developing vaccinations, and aiding in its distribution.
2021 was a year that saw a prolific growth in healthcare industry adapting AI. For instance, Microsoft announced joint venture with a white house led consortium to tackle the pandemic using AI. AI was utilized to help researchers use the HPC or High-Performance Computing (HPC) resource with the potential of advancing the overall pace in bringing about scientific breakthroughs to stop the virus.
Besides, Microsoft is highly dedicated to using AI and data science to improve the overall health of communities and people. They have awarded 180+ grants focusing on four primary areas: scaling up global health insights, medical research, health equity, and research capabilities.
2. Leveraging AI to Speed Up Diagnostics
Including AI in telehealth has led to speeding up the overall process. It advantages doctors in making real-time choices with bettered patient experience and enhanced health outcomes.
Accurate and speedy diagnosis
MIT research states that over 75% of healthcare companies who opted for AI have improved in curing diseases. Especially during the COVID 19 pandemic, quick results were integral to ensuring speedy diagnosis, treatment, and isolation.
Possibility of remote diagnosis
Telemedicine has streamlined things for the healthcare sector. As per the studies done by the LA County Department of Health Services, there has been a decrease in the number of patient visits. It includes a reduction of approximately 14,000 after using telemedicine to monitor diabetic retinopathy.
How does an AI system work in monitoring health?
During the pandemic, while people couldn’t venture out of their homes, their health became a priority. Keeping a constant check on the health of elders, ill people, or patients became a priority as well. AI helped bring no-touch diagnosing techniques, which helped deepen the inclusion of AI in healthcare.
In one case, AI telehealth allowed doctors to examine pictures, compare the prior samples and thereby estimate the severity of the ailment. Another example was when collecting blood samples instantly, wherein the AI used algorithms to analyse the test strips using a smartphone camera.
Future of digital diagnostics
- Including AI in healthcare will improve the overall quality of care and productivity
- In enhancing patient engagement and streamlining their access to care
- Combining machine learning and AI will assist in providing personalized medical treatments using the analytics and bringing breakthroughs in research
- Accelerating the speed and reducing the overall cost of developing new pharmaceutical treatments
3. Evolution of Advanced Digital Telepathology
Telepathology has increased in its utility over time, helping improve the quality of analysis, provide clearer views and reduce error. Digital telepathology is estimated to grow from $0.80 billion in 2022 to over $1.40 billion by 2026.
These include storage systems, scanners, and software that use a microscopic array to produce a 3D representation of the pathology slide to view the automated images. It also allows the software to transfer data into a digital medium for review.
Accessing faster information
As per the American Cancer Society, over 140,690 cancer cases were diagnosed and over 103,250 deaths were reported, including of 85 elderly. Their primary reason was narrowed down to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Digital pathology helps in providing an accurate diagnosis. For example, Olympus Corporation announced the launch of EVIS X1, an endoscopy system based on AI that helps derive outcomes for major cancer disorders like colon, stomach and esophagus. The combination of technology and digitized pathology helps amplify technological leadership and breakthrough in healthcare.
4. AI Keeps Doctors from Burning Out
We are not oblivious to the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on healthcare workers, especially doctors and nurses. The pressure of going door to door, collecting samples, and waiting for the results to be declared by the labs did push us back in the fight against the pandemic.
Besides, as demanding as the health care sector is, doctors are prone to facing burnout, anxiety, fatigue, and dissatisfaction. That can indirectly harbor pressure on their quality of work as well.
AI to reduce the overall time on gadgets
Doctors engage more with the EMR than patients, which is a significant reason for burnout. Employing AI in telehealth reduces the need to spend more time on computers. AI herein assists in diagnosing signs that can lead to burnout of doctors.
The algorithms not only help detect the symptoms but also forecast the number of patients the doctor will be able to handle before getting exhausted. It helps care for patient health as well as doctors who can provide quality care without getting fatigued or overwhelmed.
5. AI Takes the Edge off Telehealth Operational Issues
NCBI’s research report documents the wide gap between the demand and supply of health care services. For example, locating patients and clinicians during critical times can be tricky. Here is where AI comes into the picture by providing an edge in tackling operational issues in telehealth.
ICT (Information and Communication Technology) plays a potential role in bridging the demand and supply gap. AI assists researchers develop algorithms that match the availability of health care providers with the appropriate skills and make them available for patient care.
- It introduces the failure of telecommunication links when the clinician is unavailable remotely.
- It alleviates the situation by providing methods to enable direct or virtual interactions to address the need.
- Leverage innovative therapies and processes by personalizing the procedure to match the patient’s profile
- Increase longevity and management of chronic diseases, which requires a multi-disciplinary approach
- Enabling interaction and maintenance of virtual knowledge base to better patient management
6. Exponential Quality Improvement in AI & Telehealth in Recent Years
As per Peterson et al., 76% of overall examinations included understanding patient history, and 11% were based on assessment. It was a time before high-end technology like MRI and CT scans came into practice. But a rapid increase in the need for health-related digital information is used by citizens and healthcare providers.
Using new inferences and taking actionable insights
Better availability of data that answers vital questions enables enhancing clinical decision-making. AI helps in encouraging the call for intelligence diagnosis and assistance.
Saving the overall clinical time
AI works towards reducing the overall time taken to process the investigation and diagnosis. For example, a person who complains about a dull ache in his abdomen is likely due to gastritis. However, an ICT using a telehealth application will help summarize the questions saved in the computer database.
AI helps the doctor and specialist run through the previous data, and the AI utilizes telediagnosis to provide accurate diagnosis using computer algorithms to better the treatment.
7. Patient Monitoring and Elder Care Will be More Effective with Assistive Bots & AI Innovations
Timely patient monitoring and diagnosis is critical for the elderly. AI-based robots assist the elderly in managing their movement and in engaging with others. AI herein covers each aspect of the healthcare industry, whether it is diagnosing diseases or tracking biometrics.
As per studies, the number of elderly in the US is estimated to surpass by 2034. Besides, most elderly wish to stay separate from their family, and here is where AI innovations play an effective role in assisting them in maintaining their movement & independence.
AI-based robots enhance care in assisting the elderly, which includes:
- Doing more minor chores like collecting water or food or picking up clothes.
- It aids in providing emotional support to the elderly in the time of loneliness.
- Covers social needs by entertaining them through games.
- Reminding them about schedules such as taking their medicine, paying bills or anniversaries.
- Assistive robots use robust compressors to help elders move with ease.
- Virtual home assistants and AI-powered robots are designed to make elders. independent and monitor them to maintain their health and companionship.
8. Developments in Synchronous & Asynchronous Telehealth
Telehealth encompasses many systems like telemedicine, health education, training, remote monitoring, and more. These are divided into asynchronous and synchronous telehealth.
Asynchronous telehealth involves sending patient information and storing the information until the provider reviews it. That allows users to review the materials as per schedule. In short, it uses a store and send approach that helps specialists share videos and images and store them for review.
- Sharing X-Ray and MRI
- Sharing physical exercise training through video
- Sending patient reports and education quizzes to understand their knowledge
- AI bots
- Wound imaging
On the other hand, synchronous telehealth includes real-time or interactive interaction through video where data is transmitted directly. AI allows virtual visits and face-to-face inquiry and evaluation of patients.
- Evaluating live videos
- Observing real-time behavior
- Live therapy sessions
- Consulting directly with medical specialists and care provider
- Calling the patients to know the symptoms
- Providing real-time care plans through video or phone
Equipo is constantly enhancing AI for a better future to help revolutionize care delivery. It is improving user lives, reducing healthcare costs, and providing better healthcare solutions with its AI tech.
AI, however, is just a trailer. From furthering research on using AI to prevent Covid 19 to reinventing the new machines, AI augmented healthcare is the future to stay and evolve.