Adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) takes place slower in healthcare as compared to other businesses. Typically, AI software prevails in the research labs, diagnostics and is widely adopted by startups while not so many AI-assisted applications have been deployed by healthcare services vendors. Despite this, there are wide speculations that AI is capable of simplifying every aspect of medicine. In today’s article, we will review whether in 2023, AI will prove its superiority in the healthcare sector.
AI-enabled software solutions are considered to add better productivity for clinical workflows, greater return on investments and enhance treatment outcomes for a patient. The U.S. National Bureau for Public Research has recently reported Artificial Intelligence to bring significant spendings in the healthcare sector, as well. Inter alia, there are estimations of 5 to 10 percent savings annually in 2019 dollars. Besides, AI-related advantages for medicine also cover “improved healthcare quality, increased access, better patient experience, more accurate predictive modelling, and greater clinician satisfaction”.
If we have a look at where we stand now, we’ll see that the overall situation in the healthcare sector is not so bright even though investments in custom healthcare software development are on the rise. Largely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare services providers experience staff shortage while physicians and nurses are often overworked and burnt out. The Association of American Medical Colleges claim that if the staff situation remains the same, by 2034, the U.S. healthcare sector will have a shortage of 124,000 physicians.
The other side of the coin shows that medical knowledge is evolving so fast that in ten years, a new coming physician will be able to take advantage of only 6 percent of what they were taught at medical education facilities. From the patients perspectives, the major negative consequence of the understaffed medical services providers is medical errors in making life-or-death decisions.
In this extremely stressful environment, physicians and nurses make efforts to steer away from the industry. What can stem the tide? How can medical industry leaders retain medical talents to avoid staff shortfalls and hold the bar high for patients?
It seems that now is the right timing for Artificial Intelligence solutions to curb the hurdles in the healthcare sector. Firstly, labor-intensive and administrative tasks can be transferred to AI software. For example, AI-enabled virtual assistants can advise patients on healthcare information and appointments, disease symptoms, use of drugs, etc. Some AI solutions already make it five times faster for the hospital staff to prepare patient charts than they do it manually.
Secondly, AI-powered tools can support medical professionals in more accurate diagnosing. For example, AI-based pneumonia diagnosis tool allow patients to upload their lungs images into the web app. If less than 80 % of the lungs are healthy, the user receives an alert and requires a medical attestation. This solution reduces the risks of human errors especially amid stress and tedium. Another AI case study makes cross-reference if brain CT images with the scans database and identifies signs of large vessel occlusion strokes to alert the physicians accordingly.
Thirdly, Artificial Intelligence can speed up drug discovery and improve the lives of millions of people. According to Morgan Stanley Research, 50 novel therapies could be expected within a 10-year period due to enhanced early-stage drug development rates after the deployment of the Artificial Intelligence technology.
These are just a few use cases where Artificial Intelligence solutions can relieve the problems in the healthcare sector. The industry leaders have a clear understanding of opportunities as healthcare spendings on AI software are estimated to increase by 40 % in 2023 as compared to 2022.
Although healthcare was initially rather slow to adopt AI-powered tools, this is the business domain where the technology has really proved its worth in many dimensions – from paperwork to patients’ lives quality. As of 2023, healthcare provides real grounds for AI to be a game changer in terms of overall healthcare outcomes with good perspectives for the demand and supply to meet.