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  • Writer's pictureThe Honest Critique

Artificial Intelligence and modern world health

"Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the intelligence displayed by machines. The dexterity of computer systems to resemble human intelligence is AI. AI has reformed the diagnostic and therapeutic precision and competence in various fields of medicine. In today's world, AI is infamous. While AI is frequently depicted in science-fiction as humanoid robots, it can refer to anything- from Google's search algorithms to IBM's Watson to autonomous weapons."

The use of tele-health clinics, remote monitoring of cardiac devices, interpreting imaging studies remotely by radiologists, and cardiologists on the electronic health records are all here and are widely being utilised especially in the COVID-19 era. The advent of medical conferences via online classes and social media is a new form of technological advancement in medical education.

Therefore, the use of AI is already on its way to make a better future in a post-COVID world. Artificial intelligence and associated technologies are becoming more common in society and business and they're starting to show up in healthcare. Many elements of patient care, as well as administrative operations inside providers, payers, and pharmaceutical companies, could be improved by such technologies.

Several studies claim that AI can often do better than a human at crucial healthcare activities such as disease diagnosis. Algorithms are already surpassing radiologists in terms of detecting dangerous tumours and advising researchers on how to build cohorts for expensive clinical trials.

AI is a set of technologies rather than a single one. The majority of these technologies have direct application in the healthcare although the procedures and tasks they support are diverse.

AI controlled brain implants to treat mood disorders

Off-late, people are being experimented with brain implants that produce electrical pulses tuned to a person's thoughts. Two teams, funded by the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the US military's research arm, have begun preliminary trials of 'closed-loop' brain implants that use algorithms to identify patterns linked to mood disorders.

Deep-brain stimulation is the term for using a brain implant to deliver electric pulses that modify neuronal activity. It's used to treat disorders like Parkinson's, but it's had mixed results when it comes to treating mood disorders. The organisations are testing their inventions on people who have epilepsy and have electrodes implanted in their brains to monitor their seizures. These electrodes enable researchers to record what happens in the brain because they stimulate it intermittently rather than continuously. The groups are also working on treating soldiers and veterans of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Heart Surgery using AI

Heartlander is a tiny robot built by Carnegie Mellon University's robotics department to help with heart treatment. The robot enters the chest by a small incision, navigates to specific parts of the heart on its own, clings to the surface of the heart, and provides therapy under the supervision of a clinician.

AI robot-assisted surgery

Robot-assisted surgery is becoming increasingly popular. Robots are being used in hospitals to assist with treatments ranging from minimally invasive to open-heart surgery. Robots, according to the Mayo Clinic, aid doctors in performing difficult treatments with precision, flexibility and control that exceeds human capabilities.

Robotic surgery has resulted in fewer surgical complications, less discomfort, and a faster recovery period.

Streamlining patient experience with AI

Time is money in the healthcare industry. Hospitals, clinics, and physicians can serve more patients daily if they can efficiently provide a smooth experience. According to a study done in USA over a year, hospitals saw more than 35 million patients, each with their own set of symptoms, insurance coverage, and other factors to consider when providing care. The same study of 35,000 physician reviews, 96 percent of patient complaints are about poor customer service, paperwork difficulty, and bad front-desk encounters.

New AI technology is improving patient experience by allowing medical employees to process millions of data points more quickly and efficiently.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital recently announced the implementation of predictive AI approaches to increase patient operational efficiency. A task force, aided by AI, prioritised hospital work quickly for the patient’s benefit. The facility has witnessed a 60 percent increase in its ability to admit patients and a 21 percent rise in discharges before midday since introducing the approach, resulting in a speedier patient experience.

Qventus, established in California, is an AI-based software that addresses operational issues such as emergency rooms and patient safety. The company's automated software prioritises patient illness or injury, records hospital wait-times and even plots the quickest ambulance routes.

Development of new medicines with AI

The medication development industry is slowed by rising development costs and labor-intensive research that takes thousands of hours. Clinical trials cost around $2.6 billion each drug, and only 10% of those treatments make it to market.

In 2007, researchers at Aberystwyth University in Wales and England's University of Cambridge created AI robot ‘Adam’. They challenged Adam with exploring yeast capabilities, which was one of the most significant AI discoveries in medicine. Adam analysed public sources for billions of data points to speculate on the activities of 19 genes in yeast, predicting 9 new and accurate ideas. Adam’s robot friend, Eve, discovered that triclosan, a common ingredient in toothpaste, can combat malaria-based parasites.

BioXcel Therapeutics, a Connecticut based medicine company, uses AI to find and develop new immuno-oncology and neuroscience medications. AI is also used in the company's medication re-innovation effort to find new uses for current pharmaceuticals.

BERG is an AI-powered biotech platform that identifies diseases to speed-up drug discovery. BERG can produce more robust products that tackle rare diseases by integrating its "Interrogative Biology" method with standard R&D. BERG recently presented its discoveries on Parkinson's Disease treatment at the Neuroscience 2018 conference, where they employed AI to discover previously discovered relationships between substances in the human body.

Artificial intelligence is revolutionising — and reinvigorating — modern healthcare through technologies that can predict, grasp, learn, and act; whether it's employed to identify new relationships between genes or control surgery-assisting robots. AI's future is undeniably bright, and it will play a large role in the globe in the not-too-distant future. AI has the potential to reform medical care soon.

However, AI has limitations and cannot replace the bedside clinical interpretation of a physician.

(Written by Siddhipriya Chatterjee)

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