The health technology revolution: doctors assisted by AI – Med-Tech Innovation

Piotr Orzechowski, CEO of Infermedica explains why AI offers so many advantages over traditional rule-based decision trees and how integrating AI technology with physician expertise can improve patient care.

The concern over the introduction of automation in the workplace has been well documented. With some estimates indicating that by 2025, machines will do half of all work tasks, maybe the worries are not entirely out of place.

In the field of health, robotics and machine learning already have an impact on patient care, providing basic assistance in many clinical settings – undoubtedly life-saving work. Some may think that eventually the technology – especially artificial intelligence (AI) – will advance to a point where it can provide advanced consultation, without the need for a doctor. For others, interaction with a machine to determine a treatment plan will never be able to replicate a personalized consultation with a doctor, the latter having an unparalleled level of expertise and training.

Really, however, AI shouldn’t be seen as an existential threat to doctors, but rather as a companion. The two can work harmoniously side by side, with AI improving knowledge, expertise and time management. As healthcare organizations around the world embrace digital technologies to fight the pandemic, harnessing the capabilities of AI has the potential to dramatically improve patient care.

Technology adoption in healthcare

It’s no secret that technology is already very prevalent in healthcare. From portable devices sharing vital signs information to secure messaging apps for healthcare professionals, technology is transforming nearly every aspect of patient care. In the third quarter of 2020, European start-ups alone have raised 1.6 billion euros, revealing the phenomenal growth of health technology services.

In 2020, however, the pandemic has thrown an inescapable spotlight on the relationship between technology and healthcare. Earlier this year, when healthcare organizations around the world had to cancel routine and non-urgent appointments in order to cope with the demands of the pandemic, The uptake of telemedicine services and electronic consultations has skyrocketed. Virtual appointment services set to fundamentally disrupt the healthcare market with telemedicine services expected to be multiplied by seven by 2025.

Necessity has kept patients from physically seeing their doctors for minor health concerns, but it has brought digitalization to the forefront of healthcare around the world. These have generally been slow to innovate, hampered by levels of bureaucracy and complicated procurement processes, which have prevented rapid innovation and created a barrier to the adoption of technologies that can improve patient care.

Irreversible trends

And it’s not just telemedicine that has benefited: the collaboration between healthcare professionals and tech companies has introduced new solutions and devices in response to the virus at an unprecedented rate. For example, 3D printed valves and big data solutions offering real-time patient monitoring are just two introductions that reflect the enormous transformation that has taken place.

The healthcare industry has witnessed how collaboration between innovative companies, healthcare systems and physicians can find new ways to improve patient care and respond to the challenges of the pandemic, and it it is inconceivable to imagine that the change that has occurred will be reversed.

Within months, we saw systems rapidly adopt the technology – and physicians incorporating AI systems into their traditional practices is a next step.

Benefits of AI

Health systems are often overloaded. Emergency departments and doctor’s offices typically deal with patients who have conditions that could be treated elsewhere. This means that doctors and other healthcare professionals have more patients to see, which critically takes away from the time that can be spent with patients with more serious problems.

Misdiagnosis is also a problem. By nature, doctors are experts with extensive training, but sometimes incorrect patient diagnosis or missing warning signs can occur. For example, on average in the UK, it takes about eight years for endometriosis to be properly diagnosed, with patients commonly prescribed treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) instead.

AI-based consultations can alleviate these problems by helping humans, not replacing them. For example, initial consultations conducted by AI Solutions can triage patients to the most appropriate level of care, identifying cases where it might be more appropriate for people to seek advice from a pharmacist rather than a doctor. This focus avoids a backlog of patients using the healthcare system needlessly, speeding up those in need of urgent treatment while freeing up physicians to spend more time with patients with complex problems.

Additionally, AI can provide physicians with enhanced information about a patient’s condition. Systems that analyze health issues while taking into account various risk factors including age, gender, and location, and suggest possible rarer conditions that share similar symptoms with more common problems, such as endometriosis, provide physicians with more actionable information. This can be shared before an in-person consultation, providing the most recent and accurate patient information, improving care and diagnosis.

Reducing the time it takes to cover basic questions makes in-person consultations more productive, efficient, and can help improve the rate of misdiagnosis. Indeed, a recent study on digital health services in Norway found that 72% of respondents benefited from better follow-up by their general practitioner through the use of electronic consultation, while 58% reported an improvement in the quality of their treatment. AI can go further.

Of course, there may be some reluctance to move towards digital consultations. Bedside behavior and interaction with the patient is a large part of the visit to the doctor. In a face-to-face meeting, a doctor can read nonverbal cues that can indicate how a patient is really feeling.

However, AI can make a difference here too, with solutions trained to understand the most nuanced movements or expressions; the system then transmits the information to the physician.

The future of health

Ultimately, a healthcare provider introducing AI to help patient care is like an accountant using a calculator. The skills of physicians are underpinned by a reliable and knowledgeable tool that helps them do their jobs more efficiently. Additionally, AI solutions are constantly improving, leveraging real-world use case data to help physicians make correct and timely diagnoses.

It is undeniable that the COVID crisis has pioneered the growth of health solutions around the world, what we are now encountering are health systems embracing innovation to meet the challenge of the pandemic and beyond. . Going forward, continuing to adopt technology to improve patient care is critical – and AI will have a huge role to play.

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United Arab Emirates: Smart healthcare technology market to reach $ 21 billion by 2021

Smart healthcare technological innovations to fight the Covid-19 coronavirus and improve people’s daily lives are at the center of UAE healthcare spending topping $ 21 billion by 2021, experts from the United Arab Emirates have said. sector.

The UAE government continues to increase its spending on healthcare, particularly by supporting technological innovations in healthcare that can help manage lifestyle-related illnesses and the coronavirus. As a result, the UAE’s healthcare spending is expected to exceed $ 21 billion by 2021, according to the United States – UAE Business Council.

“Technological innovations in healthcare are driving record-breaking healthcare spending in the UAE,” said Andrew Calthorpe, CEO of Condo Protego, a leading IT infrastructure and solutions providers based in the United Arab Emirates. United Arab Emirates.

“Healthcare providers across the UAE are leveraging technology to help fight the coronavirus now and to deliver new levels of patient-centered healthcare in the future. “

Healthcare providers should follow a 4-step process in their digital transformation: modernize IT infrastructure, maintain 24/7 cloud access, launch mobile apps and improve cybersecurity, according to Condo Protego.

“Running secure, cloud-based digital platforms and mobile applications can provide many benefits for businesses and patients,” added Andrew Calthorpe. “Healthcare technology can help healthcare providers optimize costs, improve physician-patient communication, empower patients to take care of themselves, and protect themselves from harm. cyber threats. “

4 steps for healthcare providers to drive digital transformation

The first step for healthcare providers is to modernize their IT infrastructure.

Using solutions built around the Dell EMC connected health transformation portfolio, healthcare providers can connect physicians, patients, pharmacies and health insurance companies on a digital platform powered by the cloud. Patients can self-monitor their medical records, schedule appointments and manage their payments.

As a result, the UAE is also at the forefront of the smart hospital market in the Middle East and Africa, which Kenneth Research estimates will exceed $ 2 billion by 2023.

Due to social distancing requirements, healthcare providers in the UAE are increasingly turning to cloud-based telehealth measures to treat patients. Healthcare providers are increasingly turning to Veritas high availability solutions to maintain 24/7 access to data for physicians and patients, and to automate their data management.

Once healthcare providers move to the cloud, they need to embrace mobile apps, scale to the cloud as their number of departments and patients grows, and maximize their security. VMware solutions can drive innovation in any application, cloud, or device.

This connected environment sees healthcare providers facing cyber attacks. Many are turning to Secureworks solutions that can help them protect their healthcare networks, but also identify, contain and eradicate cyber threats.

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