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The future of healthcare – AI-From hype to helpful

Can you imagine a future in which babies wear smart clothing to track their every move?

It may sound like something from science fiction, but a romper suit being piloted in Helsinki, Copenhagen, and Pisa does exactly that. The motor assessment of infant’s jumpsuit looks like typical baby clothing, but there is a crucial difference – it is full of sensors which assess child development.

“There is no lack of dreams or technology, but we are lacking relevant and sufficient clinical problem statements, ecologically and context-relevant datasets, reliable clinical phenotyping of the material, as well as suitable legislation for products that don’t follow the traditional forms.”

Of all the industries romanticizing artificial intelligence (AI), healthcare organizations may be the most smitten. Hospital executives hope AI will one day perform healthcare administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments, entering disease severity codes, managing patients’ lab tests and referrals, and remotely monitoring and responding to the needs of entire cohorts of patients as they go about their daily lives.

By improving efficiency, safety, and access, AI may be of enormous benefit to the healthcare industry. But buyers of healthcare AI need to consider not only whether an AI model will reliably provide the correct output – which has been the primary focus of AI researchers – but also whether it is the right model for the task at hand. “We need to be thinking beyond the model.”

This means healthcare leader should consider the complex interplay between an AI system, the actions that it will guide, and the net benefit of using AI compared with not using it.

“In deployment, AI ought to be better, faster, safer, and cheaper. Otherwise it is useless, especially in healthcare where a single error can harm a life.”

The business case for AI in healthcare
A recent report has highlighted the AI market is expected to grow by 42 percent in the next decade, which indicates a clear potential of AI disrupting the healthcare market.

We in Apollo Hospitals are pioneers to use AI to predict cardiovascular risk score in Indian population by our AI-powered health check-up – Apollo ProHealth – which brings together predictive risk analysis, cutting-edge diagnostics with physician evaluation, and a personalized path to wellness. The program is created based on 22 million health checks empowered by AI and predictive algorithms.

Also, we are operating remote ICUs to provide critical care services to the nearby rural regions, which helps to strengthen the healthcare facilities in rural areas with the help of tele-ICU technologies. As we know, India faces a dearth of intensive care beds and specialists with only 95,000 ICU beds and 4500 intensivists in the country, Tele-ICU makes remote care accessible and enables communication between off-site clinicians and bedside staff to provide real-time patient care, using tele-consultation and IoT linked.

We have also explored the use of AI in the following:

  • AI Cameras in OPD for capturing patient’s mood and real-time monitoring of their feedback.
  • AI to tell you ARPOP, consumable cost, total bill of the patient and average length of stay at the time of admission.
  • AI for physiotherapy treatment at home.

When to deploy AI in healthcare
My advice is to define a clear data strategy, have a plan to try before you buy, and set clear metrics for evaluating if deployment is beneficial.

Because AI is only as good as the data it learns from, healthcare leaders need to have a strategy and staff for gathering diverse data, properly labelling and cleaning that data, and maintaining the data on an ongoing basis. “Without a data strategy, there’s no hope for successful AI deployment.”

Once these factors are looked upon, AI has an invincible and long-lasting impact on healthcare. From futuristic medical imaging, which detects early signs of tumors to AI-enabled doctor’s assistant, virtual nursing assistant, personalized treatments, wellness application, and chatbots, AI has a strong potential to help in real time and quick decision making and shortening the manpower gap in healthcare.

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