Healthcare Will Embrace AI Innovations as Physician Shortage Grows

Source: lifeboat.com

Some have questioned why artificial intelligence is needed in healthcare besides for record keeping purposes for hospitals and doctor offices; unfortunately, these critics have difficulties in understanding the need for innovation or do not grasp the urgency on why it will be needed.  According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, they predict a shortage of physicians in the U.S. by 2025 that will be estimated to reach between 34,600 to 88,000 doctors  (https://aamc-black.global.ssl.fastly.net/production/media/filer_public/a5/c3/a5c3d565-14ec-48fb-974b-99fafaeecb00/aamc_projections_update_2017.pdf).  Since this is something that cannot be ignored, healthcare will have to embrace AI innovations and hope it can pick up the slack as a shortage of physicians will continue to grow.

Recently, Naveen Jain, who is the founder of the health technology firm known as Viome, talked with CNBC and said that a tsunami is coming regarding AI and that its’ role in healthcare will be a massive one (Viome provides a service that lets an individual send a stool sample to them for it to be analyzed by using AI).  He went on to say that AI is going to play the biggest role because there is so much data that no humans can every process (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/01/tsunami-of-a-i-coming-into-healthcare-tech-ceo-says.html).  The number of healthcare facilities that are opting to use artificial intelligence is growing, here are several innovations that should be explored for technologies using AI that can help in the upcoming shortage of physicians. 

Artificial Intelligence for Medical Imaging

Back in 2014, AI systems were trained by technology companies to differentiate and identify an image’s elements, such as cats and dogs.  Research and development over time could train these systems to successfully analyze a patient’s MRI’s, X-rays and CT scans; this could then lead over time to accurately find, diagnose and follow-up on specific health concerns.  Several experts that includes Dr. Keith J. Dreyer, the executive director of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Clinical Data Science, strongly believes that applications involving AI imaging could revolutionize the field of disease management                (https://giving.massgeneral.org/artificial-intelligence-healthcare-impact/). 

Drug Designing Through AI

Many people do not realize that to create drugs meant to tackle complex diseases that includes several types of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, analyzing and collecting various amounts of information is required.  The healthcare industry could use a combination of big data and machine learning algorithms to assist experts in the industry utilize everything about complex diseases to create more efficient development and drug design.  Actually, several startups in healthcare tech have begun exploring this idea, such as the biotechnology firm known as Numerate; they design an algorithm-centric process that streamlines preclinical processes that include nominating clinical trial candidates and identifying relevant markers (https://www.inc.com/rhett-power/as-physician-shortage-grows-healthcare-embraces-ai-technology.html).   

Using AI for Augmenting Human Capability

Experts believe soon that artificial intelligence will converge with other advanced technologies that would provide the ability to enhance the human body.  This could be achieved by thousand of nanobots possibly eradicating diseases during their initial stage or integrate with a human’s brain that would augment its intelligence while backing it up to the cloud (http://observer.com/2017/02/a-glimpse-of-the-future-ai-will-change-everything/). 

Mark Minevich is a B20 Digital Task Force expert and founder of Going Global Ventures who predicts this will usher in a brand-new phase of human advancement.  Minevich said that to put it simply,” he says, “recent advances in big data, software, chemistry, biotech, and machine learning would be combined to provide humans additional capabilities that would be directly uploaded to the human brain.

The Future of AI Innovations with Healthcare is Coming

Although artificial intelligence has been making considerable progress with healthcare, more is on the horizon and will be needed to cope with the upcoming shortage of physicians.  There are more innovations that AI can build on, such as opening AI for better-decision making, that can make patient-care easier and more productive.  Whether or not you may fall into the category of thinking artificial intelligence will be the downfall of mankind, healthcare will need to embrace innovations in AI to pick up the slack that will occur as the shortage of physicians grows.

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Seth is an avid tech writer who currently lives in Las Vegas, NV. While he always had a passion for writing, his original goal was to combine business and writing and go into Advertising, but that didn't happen quite how he planned. He decided to go into education and became an English teacher in Brooklyn, NY. After teaching for many years, he made the move to the Las Vegas area in 2008 where he began his new career as a freelance writer, and has been doing so for over six years.