AI in Healthcare: The Rise of Intelligent Patient Care

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The Healthcare industry stands at the brink of an exhilarating revolution driven by data and Artificial Intelligence (AI). As true gamer-changers, these technological advancements are reshaping the age-old Healthcare dynamics with a transformational effect rooted strongly in creating more personalized interactions and improving productivity.

According to the research, AI in the healthcare market was estimated to be at 11 billion US dollars in 2021. This market is expected to grow to almost 188 billion US dollars by 2030, with the 2022-2030 CAGR estimated to be 37%.

Source

Artificial Intelligence-based technology solutions have immense potential to disrupt the existing healthcare delivery. On a tipping note, CIOs in healthcare organizations (HCOs) are now getting more inclined towards implementing AI in the healthcare sector to deliver new experiences for patients and operational efficiencies for staff. 

Driven by greater volumes of high-quality data and advancing computational techniques, the use of AI in the healthcare ecosystem is supplementing human capacity and promises quick wins to companies struggling with major healthcare sector roadblocks, including rising costs, increasing service demands, and clinician shortages.

And here's the proof:

Gartner presents key insights, market effects, and guidance for three strategic forecasts:

  • Generative AI technologies integrated into Electronic Health Records (EHRs) will halve the time clinicians spend on documentation by 2027, enhancing both clinician and patient experiences.
  • By 2027, the majority (60%) of AI-powered workflow automation in healthcare will focus on addressing staff shortages and reducing clinician burnout rather than patient engagement.
  • The volume of daily data collected from standard inpatient rooms will surpass current ICU bed data collection levels by 2027.

These projections from Gartner highlight the transformative impact of AI on healthcare efficiency, workforce management, and data utilization in the coming years. 

AI in Healthcare: The Bigger Picture

The bigger picture of AI in healthcare is futuristic. With Artificial Intelligence, healthcare providers will be able to process large amounts of datasets into more valuable insights at unprecedented speeds, leading to major improvements in patient care delivery through early diagnosis and accurate diagnosis; now, we can create personalized treatment. 

Furthermore, AI is expected to help tackle some of the key issues in healthcare and transform the delivery of care today and in the future, namely medical mistakes, clinician burnout, and certain patients’ outcomes. While integrating AI in healthcare allows for new forms of advances, it also raises significant questions on the ethnicization of healthcare work and privacy, as well as the increasing technologization of medicine. Here are the proving grounds for implementing Artificial Intelligence in healthcare:

1. Improved Diagnosis and Treatment

AI has great potential benefits that can be seen in the health sector by demonstrating proficiency in medical imaging, analytics for predictions, planning for individual therapy, and decision support systems. Here’s how:

  • Medical Imaging Analysis: AI algorithms can also employ medical imaging (X-ray, MRI, and CT scans) with a high level of accuracy and within a short period, if not less. They can capture some things that the human eyes could not see, making them appropriate for diagnosing illnesses such as cancer, broken bones, or even neurological diseases at their early stages.

  • Predictive Analytics: AI can determine possible diseases for specific patients or groups of patients depending on the results of numerous evaluations based on their health records. For instance, it can pinpoint patients with high-risk factors of getting particular diseases and then help prevent such incidents.

  • Personalized Treatment Plans: AI has the potential to analyze a patient’s genomics, demographics, behaviors, and existing physical conditions to provide solutions on the right treatment plan to undertake as well as recommended remedies. Oncologists also provide patients with tailored drugs based on the molecular profile of their cancer, an approach called precision medicine, which enhances the odds of recovery and minimizes side effects.

  • Clinical Decision Support: AI systems can enhance healthcare provision by proposing correct treatment plans. Typically, they are capable of making heuristic analysis of the patient’s symptoms, tests, and medical history, providing possible diagnoses and treatment regimens based on huge databases of medical data.

2. Enhanced Patient Care

With several applications in diagnosis, treatment plans, and overall patient care, the role of AI is increasing exponentially. Technology can, therefore, capture patient patterns to indicate potential risks and recommend ways of averting the same. Mobile applications with AI voice and text-based chatbots and virtual assistants can respond to patients’ queries and give basic health information anytime.

In hospitals, AI systems constantly track patients' status and health parameters, which is important in informing healthcare providers before complications occur. AI helps to better coordinate patients and load and reduce waiting times within hospitals, making more effective use of resources. AI also allows for timely and individualistic patient management and thus has the potential to enhance treatments’ efficacy.

3. Streamlined Administrative Tasks

The medical experts are now having less work to do since the administration work that was time-consuming has been handled by AI. Computer Science efforts within NLP can be applied to automate Medical Coding and Billing and minimize errors in this regard. AI algorithms can process and analyze vast amounts of health information and provide relevant insights to the decision-making process.

There are significant advantages to using automated appointment scheduling, as it can greatly improve clinic organization. AI-based voice recognition can record all interactions between doctors and patients and input this data into the EHR system, minimizing manual documentation and cutting back on time spent on paperwork. This automation helps free healthcare workers from numerous administrative tasks and allows them to devote more of their time to the health sector.

4. Remote Patient Monitoring

AI is also improving the possibilities of telemedicine and remote patient care. Smartwatches and other IoT gadgets can keep patient health information continuously, and inform doctors and nurses whenever something unusual is detected. One of the ways in which telemedicine platforms leverage AI is to assess and prioritize the patients, diagnose their conditions, and decide whether they need an in-person visit.

In the case of chronic conditions, AI can use data extracted from remote monitoring instruments to fine-tune the care plan in real time. This technology is especially beneficial for elderly care and population management of patients in remote or low-resource settings.

5. Medical Education and Training

The use of AI in Education is just becoming noticeable, and particularly in the health sector, it is assisting the professionals in how they can be trained effectively and how they can continue with their professional development. Augmented reality enables realistic virtual-experiences to be created thus deploying it in the training of medical students and practicing medical personnel.

Real patients cannot be put through several unusual or complicated operations or procedures, but through such simulators, learners can be exposed to such cases with no consequences. It is crucial to implement such solutions with the help of machine learning algorithms; that way, the program adapts to the student and finds out the topics where the individual requires more practice.

AI can also help update healthcare professionals on the latest research and practice information while filtering and selecting the most valuable details depending on the fields of interest of the reader.

6. Ethical and Privacy Considerations

There are various ethical and privacy issues that arise out of the application of AI in enhancing Healthcare. Another important consideration is the protection of patient data. As advanced as AI systems are, they are going to need large amounts of data including sensitive patient data.

Some of the issues raised include accuracy and balance in probing suspect populations, and/or getting the best results for all patients regardless of their nationality, race, or color since it is believed that AI has the potential of outputting biased data if the algorithms underlying any classification or prediction system are not well balanced.

There are concerns about who should be held responsible for the final judgment when AI is incorporated into the entire decision-making process in healthcare. Another general issue that needs to be addressed is related to the role of human servants as AI advances and is widely integrated into healthcare.

These challenges lie before policymakers as well as the departments of healthcare, who have to fashion a sustainable approach to managing the professed benefits of healthcare AI while still guarding patient data privacy rights.

AI Technology in Healthcare: Best Practices Explained

Machine learning, natural language processing, virtual assistants, and many other AI-driven technological advancements are already changing the face of healthcare by enhancing patient satisfaction and decreasing expenses. However, the adoption of AI in providing care is not without risks, and there are measures that can be taken to help an organization adopt the technology effectively.

Given below are some best practices to consider when embracing AI technology in healthcare:

  • Define the issue and set a clear objective

The first stage in applying AI in healthcare is to define the problem you want to address and decide on the objectives of the endeavor. This may include processing data to discover some pattern or trend that can help in the treatment of a patient or the use of artificial intelligence in managing some of the patients. This is crucial because in order to evaluate the solution, you need to know at least what the problem is and what constitutes success.

  • No compromise on quality and data security

The application of AI in healthcare is strictly tied to data, and it is crucial to be confident in the data used. This may require data cleansing and transformation to eliminate any errors or inconsistencies in the data and guarantee the data’s security and compliance with the regulations. They also have to set out guidelines for sharing information and making certain that the patient's data is well protected all the time.

  • Engage Clinicians and Stakeholders throughout the process

It is crucial for the application of AI in healthcare to be adopted by clinicians and other stakeholders. These people must be engaged in the development process from the get-go to provide their opinions on the design and usability of the AI system. This will not only guarantee that the right AI is developed for the healthcare organization but will also handle issues of concern or rejection.

  • Make wise choices for AI technology

Currently, a plethora of AI technologies can be implemented in healthcare organizations: machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics, for instance. The type of technology that can be employed to solve a particular problem depends on the organizational requirements that have to be met. This could entail contracting equipment suppliers or consultants to analyze the potential scenarios and identify the most suitable.

  • Validate AI approaches rigorously

While designing the AI solution, it is crucial to check the feasibility of the solution before implementing it in the clinical environment. This may require engaging in staging or trials to determine the suitability of the technology and to search for weaknesses and strengths. Therefore, there is a need for clinicians and other stakeholders to participate in this process so as to get the right and accurate AI.

  • Regular monitoring of the AI solution is a must

Once AI solutions are integrated into a healthcare organization and begin serving its clients, continuous assessment must be conducted to assess the performance of the implemented solutions and check whether they are achieving their intended purpose and delivering the desired outcomes. This can be in the form of monitoring KPIs and ongoing evaluation of the AI solution to reveal areas of concern or to look for further enhancement. Organizations must also be ready to make changes to the AI system from time to time in a bid to address any lapses that may arise from its implementation.

AI Integration Services Limitations: Exploring the bumpy hurdles

The application of artificial intelligence in healthcare reveals the fact that technology is also useful for people who work in medical science and the healthcare ecosystem. But there are flaws in the technology especially when you try to balance serving so many patients with different complications. 

  • Wrong Diagnosis or Analytics

Consequently, AI systems fail, which can harm patients or lead to other large problems. For instance, a patient may consume a medication that the artificial intelligence decided was not appropriate, therefore generating more queries. 

Likewise, a CT scan might fail to pick on a tumor. Mishaps will occur if AI estimations about the availability of hospitals are incorrect.

The greater problem here is that any of these errors could potentially affect a lot of things. One common error could negatively affect a large number of people. Nobody is going to agree that a family member’s stumble was as a result of a technical problem in AI.

  • Data Security

The personal data is at risk in medical facilities when using AI, and this is quite typical for IT development in the healthcare sector. There are risks of security breaches that can occur with AI that can disrupt the whole hospital system. 

Furthermore, the data of each patient should be protected and not disclosed to anyone. Modern cyber threats, with no shields at all, can cause a lot of harm to any building and structure. To minimize such forms of risks in the documentation of patients’ records, it is crucial to adhere to the current security measures.

  • Employee and AI System Training

Some AI tools are either challenging to use or require extensive training to be applied in any application. However, AI systems themselves require to be trained with specific data sets to operate effectively. These two situations can become even more complex due to the involvement of Artificial Intelligence.

How Closeloop fits in innovating healthcare CIOs with AI Integration

The future of AI technology in the healthcare ecosystem looks much promising, especially with Generative AI. Adoption of AI-centric solutions not only transforms face-to-face professional care dynamics but also opens a Pandora's box of opportunities for healthcare organizations enabling them to reduce human error, automate mundane processes, provide patient services 24/7 and diagnose medical problems by analyzing datasets.

In particular, Generative AI for healthcare applications at multiple stages streamlines human-dependent processes like answering phones, revolutionizing prior authorization processes, analyzing complex datasets faster, and creating data-driven care paths while adding up the availability of 24/7 instantaneously. At Closeloop, we know that AI’s future in healthcare operations promises transformative advancements, and our experts help healthcare organizations solve the major performance challenges they face during their journey of AI adoption proactively by leveraging our end-to-end AI integration services.

As your reliable transformation partner, we help healthcare CIO leaders integrate AI in the healthcare ecosystem ethically, fairly, and risk-consciously. At the right intersection of AI technologies and agile methodologies, we build cutting-edge healthcare software solutions engineered to transform the patient experience and drive significant operational efficiencies faster.

Author

Assim Gupta

Saurabh Sharma linkedin-icon-squre

VP of Engineering

VP of Engineering at Closeloop, a seasoned technology guru and a rational individual, who we call the captain of the Closeloop team. He writes about technology, software tools, trends, and everything in between. He is brilliant at the coding game and a go-to person for software strategy and development. He is proactive, analytical, and responsible. Besides accomplishing his duties, you can find him conversing with people, sharing ideas, and solving puzzles.

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