Improved data collection and analytics alone would have a considerable impact on healthcare administration, while a large volume of data shows that AI can process and support the identification of disorders in certain vital areas.
Fremont, CA: Global health systems are bearing increasing pressure as a result of the coronavirus that has affected all aspects of service delivery. Heart and lung services, in particular, are overburdened, with a growing backlog of patients awaiting elective surgery.
AI has overall favorable implications for healthcare, from improving logistics to quicker drug development and, ultimately, enhancing diagnosis and treatment. Improved data collection and analytics alone would have a considerable impact on healthcare administration, while a large volume of data shows that AI can process and support the identification of disorders such as rare hereditary diseases in certain vital areas.
However, there are some obstacles to its widespread use. Healthcare innovation is relatively complex. Patients are understandably wary of machines. Healthcare professionals, too, have reservations, seeing AI as a hype rather than an enabler or accelerant. The main challenge is implementation, which necessitates not only trustworthy AI "trained" on reasonably large and diverse data sets, but also regulatory and legislative changes.
Digitizing healthcare is a moral requirement. There is widespread agreement that AI cannot replace doctors for various reasons, especially the highly emotional nature of healthcare which a machine cannot recreate. What is far more probable is that technological advancements will eventually free up medical professionals to engage in and strengthen their human qualities. In radiology, for instance, AI could handle many time-consuming technological tasks, allowing clinicians to focus on guiding patients through a diagnosis.
This would be true even if it weren't the Covid pandemic. The question now is how to ensure that medical professionals are at the forefront of this new wave of innovation and that they have the resources and support they need to move it forward in the right direction. AI will not be able to replace healthcare professionals. However, it has the potential to improve them.