Artificial intelligence (AI) has indeed seen a landmark rise in the last few years. Gone are the days where we could visualise such digitisation as part of any science fiction novel. Today, they have become intrinsic elements of our daily lives. Starting from AI assistants to chatbots to replace customer service representatives, AI has played a pivotal role in enhancing our lifestyle and comfort. More importantly, this digital aspect has dynamically transformed the healthcare sector. Machine learning and AI has recently showcased great dominance in the health industry by delivering some extraordinary work such as robotic surgery and 3D image analysis to offer remote diagnosis and treatment.
Although the pandemic has been devastating for all of us, it has fuelled incredible technological advancements. In just the first quarter of the year, almost US$1 billion was invested in AI-focused healthcare start-ups. Additionally, recent research suggests that the global industry is expected to grow by 44 per cent by the end of 2026. This massive growth calls for speculation on how AI has been integrated into some mainstream functionalities of the industry.
According to experts, AI is expected to play a significant role in ensuring that people stay healthy and fit. Professionals are designing a model or a system that would not require people to consult doctors, at least not as often as they do now. In recent times, AI with the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) has already begun to support people with consumer health applications such as calorie tracking, weight tracking, basic routine health check-up applications. These digital apps are enabling people to be aware of one and encourage a healthy lifestyle and practice. Additionally, such AI-driven applications are allowing people to have more control of their actions and receive instant guidance, assistance and feedback.
Early detection is an aspect of the healthcare sector that has gained immense prominence. AI is already being used to diagnose diseases such as cancer, accurately and at the early stages. According to the American Cancer Society, several mammograms led to false results where almost 50 per cent of women were said to have cancer. With the use of AI, many reviews were held to confirm the cases which drove the efficiency by 30 per cent with 99 per cent accurate reports. This led to the need for unnecessary biopsies that saved time by yielding early results. Moreover, AI wearables are on the rise which has enabled people to oversee the early stages of heart diseases and give doctors a better opportunity to monitor and even prevent any fatal situations.
Not only does AI help in scanning medical records and check the identification of chronically ill individuals, but it also provides clinicians with a comprehensive approach towards disease management. With AI, doctors will be able to better coordinate a patient’s health plans, manage their treatments and comply with long-term programmes when required. Over the last three decades, robots have been used to fill in numerous roles. From laboratory services to highly complicated surgeries, robots have almost served as human assistants to doctors. Other things to which robots are used are conducting repetitive tasks, in rehabilitation centres, therapies and to treat long-term conditions.
The journey from a research lab to patients is a long, tedious and expensive route. According to a leading Biomedical Research Association, it takes almost 12 years for a drug to reach a patient from a research lab. Additionally, only five in 5,000 drugs that have started their preclinical testing even make it to human testing. This process costs a company almost US$359 million for the development and translating it for consumers. The incorporation of AI in the drug research spectrum is quite a recent discovery where such digital tools are helping to streamline the process that can potentially save both time and costs.
In line with the recent developments in the healthcare industry, Capital University College has recently launched a new Master in E-Health Management in exclusive partnership with Italy’s international business school, Rome Business School. In line with this programme, students will be studying under the patronage of SIT – the Italian Society of Telemedicine that will enhance their skills and competencies to learn, manage, understand and apply advanced techniques in the healthcare industry.
This is a unique programme that combines electronic processes and communication strategies, bridging the gap between computer, health and communications and enabling one to become specialists in the health and management sector.
Dr Batheja has been responsible for designing and structuring programmes for students pursuing courses in the healthcare industry.
This article appears in the latest issue of Omnia Health Magazine. Read the full issue online today, covering femtech, AI, IoT and much more.