Artificial intelligence and health care - Hindustan Times
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Artificial intelligence and health care

Apr 01, 2024 03:06 PM IST

This article is authored by H Sudarshan Ballal, chairman, Manipal Hospitals.

The integration of Artificial intelligence (AI) in health care has ushered in a new era of innovation and efficiency. From enhancing diagnostic accuracy to enabling personalised treatment plans, AI is revolutionising the industry and improving patient outcomes. As technology continues to advance, the synergy between AI and health care holds immense potential for further advancements, promising a brighter and healthier future for individuals worldwide, and AI is truly helping us get into the era of smart hospitals. In addition, technological advancements in health care will also have a significant impact on the economy.

Health care(HT file photo)
Health care(HT file photo)

Health care has been impacted by AI in several ways. Simplifying administrative procedures, where AI may automate tedious jobs like appointment scheduling, diagnosis coding, and claim processing, would be one of the main components. This lowers administrative overhead expenses and frees up staff time for patient care. The use of AI-powered telehealth platforms in telemedicine and remote consultations has the potential to decrease patient travel time and health care facility utilisation by facilitating virtual consultations. Remote monitoring of chronic illnesses reduces the need for needless hospital admissions and enables early problem discovery. Predictive analytics is just as important as telemedicine. In this case, AI can identify those who are at risk of developing chronic diseases by analysing patient data. Prompt action can enhance health outcomes and avert costly problems.

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Robotic surgery has become increasingly common following the emergence of AI. It contributes to lower medical costs through improving precision and minimally invasive procedures that result in quicker recovery and fewer complications, such as robot-assisted operations. Furthermore, AI is being used in personalised pharmaceuticals to analyse massive datasets to find promising drug candidates and improve the design of clinical trials. This can lower expenses and hasten the creation of new medications. Notable advancements in AI-enabled gadgets and sensors that track patients' health data in real-time, no matter where they are, include wearable technology and remote monitoring. This makes it possible for medical professionals to keep an eye on chronic illnesses and respond quickly, even in far-off places.

AI has also been crucial to other advancements in health care, such as chatbots called virtual health assistants. It's an automated chatbot that can make appointments, respond to inquiries from patients, and offer basic medical advice. For patients who have trouble with transportation or scheduling, this can enhance their access to information and care. AI can also translate medical data into other languages, facilitating better communication between medical professionals and patients who don't speak English well. AI-powered platforms can provide illness management plans and individualised health education, giving people the power to take charge of their health. Those who reside in remote locations or who experience stigma related to mental health can have access to mental health care through telehealth platforms driven by AI.

The health care market in India is expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 22%. A growing population, rising disposable incomes, and expanding health and wellness consciousness are some of the causes driving this expansion. AI will support the expansion of healthcare by improving worker health and productivity, both of which are critical for a thriving economy. The health care industry contributes to a healthier and more productive workforce, increasing overall economic production, by enhancing health care access and quality. By delivering early diagnosis and preventive care, it can potentially also lower health care expenses and lessen the burden of chronic illnesses. As a result, families and individuals experience less financial hardship, freeing up funds for other economic endeavours.

AI is beneficial for entrepreneurship and creativity as well. Innovation and entrepreneurship are flourishing in the health care industry, as new businesses are springing up to create innovative goods, services, and technologies. As a result, there is a thriving ecosystem of inventions that promotes economic progress.

Notwithstanding its enormous impact on health care, AI is not without its problems. Data security and privacy would be a significant concern. The usage of disparate electronic health record systems by various healthcare organizations might make data integration and exchange difficult. Cost is a major obstacle as well because putting digitalisation and AI into practice can be expensive upfront. Moreover, people without digital literacy abilities or access to technology might not be able to take advantage of AI-powered health care.

Digitalisation and AI are revolutionising the health care industry and having a big impact on how doctors diagnose, treat, and oversee patient care. It will have a major effect on the nation's economy in addition to other advantages.

AI integration in health care signifies a significant advancement in patient care, medical innovation, and efficiency. AI has an indisputable impact on healthcare, from simplifying administrative procedures to transforming diagnosis and treatment. The potential for further developments in medication discovery, remote monitoring, and preventative care is enormous as we continue to harness the power of AI, offering a healthier and more promising future for people all across the world. However, the revolutionary promise of AI in health care may be fully realised, thereby helping society as a whole, with coordinated efforts to remove these obstacles.

This article is authored by H Sudarshan Ballal, chairman, Manipal Hospitals.

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