AI Assistants in the Medical Sector

March 15, 2019

Blog.

AI Assistants in the Medical Sector

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has been a topic that is on everybody's lips as of late.

Applications of which range from simple chatbots to self-driving cars (which are all the rage these days), and there is one industry with some exciting developments in this regard - the Medical Industry.

Medical treatment is a daily part of our lives. Due to modern technology almost everything can be measured with an app in our pocket these days. Everything from the ideal multi-vitamin combination,  tracking your daily carb intake, blood pressure, blood glucose and step count. Thankfully a lot has also changed from the archaic medical procedures from centuries back.

AI assistants are not only helping Drs sift through large volumes of data, and helping to streamline many of the aspects of daily office life, but also capable of dealing with minor medical diagnosis.

Getting to your local GP can be a hassle sometimes

Call the office of your healthcare provider and wait for your call to be attended to, make an appointment to physically go to the office of your healthcare provider, go to the office of your healthcare provider at the time of the appointment and wait to be attended to, speak with your healthcare provider to diagnose your symptoms, get a physical examination by your healthcare provider and finally get treatment.

To go through all of that for something like the common cold is very cumbersome and wastes a lot of time for both parties which can be avoided.

Imagine there was a better way

Log into your AI-powered Medical Assistant application, list your symptoms, get advised if a visit to the doctor is necessary or if it can be treated with some over the counter medicine. If it is flu season be reminded to get your seasonal vaccination. This will save time for both the healthcare provider and the patient which fits in way better with modern society. Now I know what you're thinking: Google already does this? No, not really. Although people have been turning to Google to self-diagnose (90% of the time incorrectly so). This would use your own medical history against a true healthcare database to diagnose.

If you think this sounds like having access to your very own Baymax from Big Hero 6 you are not too far from the truth, and with the technology that is available today, this is becoming a reality.

In addition to amazing technological advances like DNA diagnosis through companies like 23andme.com combined with Discovery Health ID (which holds all of your own medical records) - such a personalised AI assistant is not that far off.

An implementation such as this one doesn't just stop at diagnosis and treatment, but can be used by the healthcare provider to organise his or her day, pull up medical records on patients, examine X-Rays and other data and even do rounds in a hospital environment. There have been medical research studies showing that AI can spot probability of tumours in medical imaging such as MRIs with more accuracy than the human eye.

Huge benefits to the healthcare provider

From the sounds of it, you might think that this would result in lost revenue, but in reality, the opposite is true. Healthcare providers would be able to see more patients on a daily basis by handing over all the admin duties to the AI assistant which in turn would result in much higher revenue and being able to offer a higher quality of medical assistance. The system could also help to prioritise patients based on a smart triage system to ensure patients with medical emergencies will get the medical attention they require much faster.

Thinking of how your own company could innovate through digital technology? Give us a call, our innovation team is standing by.

Johan Kotzé

Backend Developer