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Artificial Intelligence will give healthcare workers more chance to show care and empathy

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AI is not the future but the present, according to Patient Safety Virtual 2021 speaker Dr Samer Ellahham - and it is here to provide support to caregivers.

If integrated into health systems properly, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will give healthcare workers more chance to show care and empathy.

Addressing a special session on “The role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in Patient Safety” at the three-day Patient Safety Virtual 2021 conference that started today, Dr Samer Ellahham, Medical Director of Continuous Improvement, Director of Accreditation, Cleveland Clinic Caregiver, Senior Cardiovascular Consultant, Heart and Vascular Institute, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, UAE said that integrating AI into healthcare can make processes a whole lot more efficient. 

“If AI is integrated into medical records of patients, it will be very helpful for a caregiver,” he said.

AI is not the future but the present and it is defined as building of machines that are capable of thinking like human beings. Allaying common concerns of machines taking over jobs of humans, Dr Ellahham said that AI is not here to replace humans but to provide support by making processes more efficient and precise while dealing with a large number of data to make not only appropriate suggestions, but also predictions. 

“AI is affecting all walks of life especially healthcare and it can be approached as patient-centred, data driven, healthcare enhanced communications and medical diagnostic imaging,” he added.

Machine learning happens through data to solve problems while deep learning is building new networks that automatically discover patterns for future detection, he said. 

Talking about portable AI devices, Dr Ellahham said that continuous electronic monitoring is the focus by using remote notification system with an alarm to notify the care provider. “The application for patients is wearable devices which is the most interesting and also aids in patient rescue. No matter how many caregivers we have; this is a must for any healthcare organisation.”

Non-invasive monitoring is all about AI and portable tools that give an appropriate evaluation of the patient. Such machines are very easy to use and have advanced technology, fewer complications, less costs, portable and very accurate while data can be transmitted even to the smart phone. 

“Technology is improving remarkably and the tools continue getting smaller and more efficient. We should not accept any mediocracy in healthcare,” said Dr Ellahham.

However, human resistance and unwillingness to integrate AI into healthcare facilities is among the challenges facing the industry while technical factors include limitation of data and design. 

“There are limitations to AI currently and it is evolving.”

He also said that precision and population medicine is here to stay. “When knowledge and evidence based medicine increases, we also need to see an increase in intelligence based medicine. In future, the term AI in healthcare will not exist but will be called augmented healthcare or intelligence based medicine.” 

Safety of AI in healthcare is focused on predictions and outcome after systems and applications are used and defined appropriately. Remote surveillance provides meaningful patient alerts in settings and it is important to have these systems that are integrated with IT systems.

With this, we may even be able to have predictions, not only reactive but proactive in healthcare as well as data protection and trust, all done under proper regulations, he concluded.

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