January 15, 2022

What’s next for AI in healthcare?

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as one of the biggest transformational technologies in healthcare. It’s a natural fit in the big data world of medicine, and is set to learn and expand exponentially over the coming months and years. The rise of AI will mean new cost savings and better physician and patient experiences, and care providers who lag behind in adopting these technologies should be wary of missing out.

Watch out for these 4 AI trends that are shaping the future of healthcare:

Virtual physician assistants

Move aside, Alexa and Siri, the next generation of voice assistants is on the horizon for healthcare. With the rise of natural language processing technology, AI will gain a critical advantage in being able to speak with and process information for physicians. Virtual physician assistants will be able to interpret test results, process patient information, and help to significantly reduce the administrative burden faced by today’s doctors. Physicians across the country are already starting to adopt this technology, as  medical technology providers rise to the occasion and begin to integrate virtual assistants into systems like advanced EMRs and more.

Increasingly convenient doctor-patient interactions

As telehealth appointments rose during the COVID-19 pandemic, patients became accustomed to receiving their care from home. This trend will only continue to accelerate as telehealth systems become increasingly sophisticated. We will soon see the automation of appointment booking, patient call-aheads, and record keeping.

In addition, AI will have the ability to process information from a patient’s file and begin remote monitoring for patients who need follow-up care. Doctors will see their follow-up calls replaced by intelligent systems that keep track of vital signs from smartphones and monitoring devices and notify physicians when medical care is needed.

Rise in predictive technology

AI works best when it is provided with large amounts of data, much like the data housed by the healthcare industry. As our data processing power improves, new frontiers of predictive technology will emerge. Using more complex types of patient data, including CAT scans and X-Rays, AI will be able to identify trends in health and make predictions about emerging diseases in whole populations and individuals alike. Predictive technology will translate into AI’s ability to predict effective treatments and preventions as it analyzes the patterns, symptoms, and profiles of illnesses. The more we use technologies to help with our diagnoses, sequencing, and care plans, the more intelligent and accurate AI will become in helping us treat the diseases of the future.

Streamlined health information

The inability to consolidate and integrate health records across providers is a longstanding and well-known issue in healthcare. Thanks to AI – and some powerful new players in the healthcare industry – we are likely to see consolidated health records for patients in the coming years. As Google, Amazon, and Apple enter the healthcare space, their extensive research and development resources will help uncover a solution to the problem of disparate health records. In the near future, AI will be able to see information from various EMRs and seamlessly update a patient’s medical record from all relevant sources, making patient data more robust and easing the burden on our healthcare industry and our patients.

These AI trends are accelerating quickly and should be included in the technological investments of healthcare providers if they plan to keep up and stay competitive in the coming years.