Debrishi Chatterjee
Asst. Suptdt.
Purulia Govt. Med. College & Hosp., Govt-WB

Unraveling the potential of AI in healthcare management

In this powerful era of Google Assistant, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will unlock many possibilities in the healthcare domain–both clinical as well as managerial. The impact of AI would be huge in the days to come subject to effective implementation.

Monitoring health stats. From smartphones with step tracking apps to wearables that can track a heartbeat around the clock, a growing proportion of health-related data is generated on the move. Collecting and analyzing this data–and supplementing it with patient-provided information through apps and other home monitoring devices–can offer a unique perspective into individual and population health. AI will play a significant role in extracting actionable insights from this large and varied treasure trove of important health data.

Utilizing selfies to create powerful diagnostic tools. Experts believe that images taken from smartphones will be an important supplement to clinical quality imaging–especially in underserved populations or developing nations. The quality of cell phone cameras is increasing every year, and can produce images that are viable for analysis by AI algorithms. Dermatology and ophthalmology are early beneficiaries of this trend. Using smartphones to collect images of eyes, skin lesions, wounds, infections and the like may be able to help underserved areas cope with a shortage of specialists while reducing the time-to-diagnosis for certain complaints.

AI powered radiology assistant. In several modern radiology set ups, the radiologists are being provided with an AI enabled assistant system that receives imaging scans of various radiological investigations and analyzes them for various clinical findings that has been programmed in it. These reports are of great value to the radiologists while making the final report.

Revolutionizing clinical decision. AI will provide much of the impetus for the evolution by powering predictive analytics and clinical decision support tools that clue providers in to problems long before they might otherwise recognize the need to act.

AI robot assisted surgery. Popularity in robot-assisted surgery is skyrocketing. Hospitals are using robots to help with everything from minimally-invasive procedures to open heart surgery and oncosurgery. Robots equipped with cameras, mechanical arms and surgical instruments augment the experience, skill and knowledge of doctors to create a new kind of surgery.

AI robot assisted pharmacy and store operations. In many modernized pharmacies and hospital stores, AI has been employed successfully for better storekeeping and efficient dispensing. A new dimension in dispensing has thus opened up where integrated drug dispensing systems are operating through AI enabled systems.

Managing medical data effectively. Data hemorrhaging is a big problem nowadays. To consolidate and match the data points is a big task that can be achieved with the help of AI. Big Data goals in healthcare from EHR to the quality systems data can be tackled for objective gains.

Administrative applications of AI. AI could be fruitful in various administrative areas of healthcare including claims processing, clinical documentation, revenue cycle management, and medical records management. A great amount of time that healthcare providers spend on documentation can be effectively minimized with the help of AI. Some healthcare organizations have also experimented with chatbots for patient interaction, mental health and wellness, and telehealth and are reaping considerable benefits out of it. Information governance will reach new horizons with AI.

Thus the crux is very clear. AI has the immense power to change the dimension of healthcare and take it to the next level altogether. There are concerns from various ends regarding loss of jobs which is not at all the fact but actually the quality of service delivery can be greatly augmented by the providers with its integration into our healthcare delivery systems. I firmly believe that AI will definitely usher in a new era of clinical quality and healthcare management which will revolutionize the entire healthcare delivery scenario in the recent future. 

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