How Artificial Intelligence can help clinicians improve the health of patients
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly accepted across all industries as a tool and the healthcare industry is no exception. While some may be afraid of the implications of the use of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare – the truth is it isn’t here to replace doctors. Making genuine, emotional connections with patients and the warm touch of a human being is outside its realm of possibilities.
Artificial Intelligence and the human eye
The human eye can only see so much information, while the human mind can only process so much information. For example, a person can only perceive up to 700 levels of gray in Hounsfield units while CT scans have up to 16,000 levels of gray. When humans observe a 4,000 by 3,000 pixel image x-ray, they can’t possibly analyse every one of the 12 million pixels on the computer screen. But Artificial Intelligence can see well beyond human capabilities. It will scan, read and analyse each and every one of the 16,000 levels of gray in a CT scan and will consider each and every one of the 12 million pixels an input point.
Depending on how the algorithm being programmed, Artificial Intelligence is able to alert clinicians to health challenges a patient may be about to experience — giving the opportunity to clinicians to be proactive in stopping or slowing down problems.
Artificial Intelligence and surgical assistance
In a surgical situation, there’s nothing scarier than a shaky hand, where a single millimeter can be crucial in the patient’s outcome. With Artificial Intelligence, surgeons can be alerted when they are getting too close to the critical proponents of a humans body. With the ability to stabilise robotic surgical tools, and the addition of safety margins on high-risk surgical areas, surgeons are able to operate in the smallest of areas with great confidence.
Detection of illness and disease with AI
A substantial amount of data is collected in numerous formats in clinical environments each and every day. The problem is that much of this data sits statically, on paper or a digital format. Patterns of health need to be drawn manually by clinicians which can take an inordinate amount of time, with doctors, nurses and other clinical staff busy taking care of patients, clinicians can end up playing a reactive rather than proactive role.
Artificial Intelligence can connect the dots that human beings can’t see or don’t have the time to – finding patterns, identifying data gaps and highlighting to clinicians the need to gather certain patient data – whether it’s textual, numeric, image, video or audio data. Over time Artificial Intelligence will be able to analyse historical data and predict with increasing accuracy the health challenges a particular person may encounter in the future.
Transparency and Artificial Intelligence
The role in which Artificial Intelligence plays in the healthcare space will continue to grow over the coming years as the technology develops. Whilst this may be a frightening concept, the key towards the acceptance of Artificial Intelligence in the health sphere will be transparency
Transparency will be key to defining and regulating Artificial Intelligence to make sure healthcare professionals continue to protect the privacy of patients, hold up ethical standards and keep Artificial Intelligence human centred.