5 ways artificial intelligence is revolutionising global healthcare

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Artificial Intelligence in healthcare allows us, and medical professionals, monitor our wellbeing like never before. Here are five ways AI is revolutionising healthcare around the world.

By Allianz Worlwide Care | September 12, 2017

Allianz Care - artificial intelligence in healthcare

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer the domain of science fiction films, it can now be seen in active use in the world around us. Although many industries benefit from AI, it may have the most significant impact on our everyday lives when it comes to looking after our health.

Staying well

There are already a large selection of apps and wearables like fitbit that work together to help us monitor our health. Many of them encourage us to take an active approach to staying well through diet and exercise.

Early diagnosis

If we do get sick, AI in healthcare is helping us receive earlier and faster diagnosis in a number of ways:

Diagnostic tools: like Ada allow us to add our symptoms into an app on a smartphone or through Amazon Alexa to diagnose illnesses. Ada also gets smarter over time, as it becomes familiar with your medical history. If needed, it will recommend getting in touch with a virtual or real doctor.

Accessing medical advice: there are many parts of the world where medical professionals are thin on the ground. If you find yourself working as an expat in one of these locations Artificial Intelligence might be a necessity. Connected health has already made a life changing difference to those living in rural India.

Predict risk: Artificial Intelligence in healthcare can be used to interpret vast amounts of data at accuracy levels that are virtually impossible for humans to replicate. This is a game changer when it comes to early diagnosis of diseases like cancer. In a US study AI software was used to collect and correlate the data from 500 mammograms to accurately predict the probability of a breast cancer diagnosis. It did this thirty times faster than a human and with 99% accuracy.  

Provide capacity: AI can tap into collective medical intelligence quickly and easily. For example, the Human Diagnosis Project is software that allows doctors to share their expertise with each other globally, to diagnose patients. The software is intelligent, it will collect and curate the opinions and responses received for future queries. This saves time and money as diagnosis that would often be outsourced to an external consultant can be diagnosed in-house but with the consultant’s opinion.

Decision making

In order to improve healthcare at scale, healthcare providers need to be able to better analyse and understand the big data they now have access to. AI software can help with this.  It uses pattern recognition to identify patients at risk of developing conditions. Researchers in the US used AI software to interpret breast cancer mammograms and identify those who needed further testing. This is revolutionary, with population and cancer diagnosis increasing globally. This type of software will help the medical profession better decide who to send forward for further testing, the increased accuracy levels mean much less time will be wasted on patients who don’t require further analysis.

Dynamic treatment

Artificial Intelligence in healthcare is also assisting professionals in developing treatment plans for patients. IBM’s ‘Watson for Oncology’ has the ability to sift through:

  • Clinical trial data
  • Medical journal entries
  • Text books
  • Any other relevant literature
  • And rank recommended treatment

This is of significant benefit to professionals trying to work out the best treatment for patients, which has always been a challenge. It is of particular use at a community level where oncologists may not have the opportunity to stay up to date with clinical advances in the same way as their colleagues in University Hospitals or medical centres.

Training

Artificial Intelligence in healthcare can also be used to train doctors, offering a level of complexity that standard software packages do not. Its ability to learn and adapt means it can tailor scenarios to the weaknesses of the student they are working with. Additionally training can happen anywhere using smartphones or tablets, allowing students to learn when and where suits them.

It’s clear that Artificial Intelligence in healthcare is nothing short of ground-breaking and is here to stay. We have employed Artificial Intelligence software in our new Symptom Checker in our MyHealth App. The app will allow you to review your policy, make a claim and monitor your own health; paper free. If you have International Health Insurance with Allianz Worldwide Care, download the MyHealth app today.