The healthcare world is currently under a tremendous amount of strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, hospitals and providers are being forced to adopt new technologies to care for every patient. While the pandemic won’t last forever, experts believe that these innovations will continue to impact the healthcare world in the future.
One of the technologies leading the way is artificial intelligence (AI). A survey recently conducted by Intel found that 84 percent of U.S. healthcare leaders have already or plan to involve AI in their operations. That marks a 37 percent increase from 2018. It is also a clear signal that AI will continue to impact healthcare moving forward.
AI in Healthcare
The uses for AI are practically endless. That also applies to the healthcare industry. AI is an extremely flexible tool that can be deployed in a variety of scenarios. It speeds up workflows, automates tasks, and increases patient safety.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put the versatility of AI on display. As each day passes, hospitals and care providers find new ways to implement the technology into their daily operations.
Fresh research from the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research found that AI can be an effective tool for promoting rest in patients who are spending the night in the hospital. The team developed an AI that predicts when patients need their vital signs taken throughout the night and when it is safe to let them sleep. Ultimately, this leads to better healing and frees up time for nurses to work on more meaningful tasks.
Earlier this year, Microsoft made a huge investment in AI-based healthcare. The Big Tech firm dedicated $40 million to power global research and develop new innovations.
Meanwhile, a number of hospital systems and researchers in the U.S. have partnered to use AI as a diagnostic tool. Studies have shown that AI excels at finding abnormalities on things like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans.
In an exclusive interview with The Burn-In back in October, Intel’s GM of Health and Sciences, Chris Gough, discussed how his company plans to contribute to AI-driven healthcare. He said, “As a company, machine learning and AI are core to our growth strategy, core to our strategies a company. In healthcare, there are a couple of areas that will apply… telehealth systems give a great opportunity to monitor patients on more of a continuous basis as opposed to episodic visits to the doctor’s office.”
Ready to Boom
Intel’s recent survey shows that the healthcare world is ready to adopt AI despite the challenges it poses. The majority of healthcare leaders said that they are less than two years away from trusting AI to process medical records and analyze diagnostic tests.
Meanwhile, 94 percent said that AI provides effective support for clinicians when planning early interventions. Likewise, 92 percent said it helps multiple specialists collaborate to improve patient care.
Intel also notes that there are some challenges associated with bringing AI to the healthcare world. The primary barrier is cost. Most hospitals aren’t already equipped with the computing hardware to support AI. As such, major investments will need to be made in the years ahead.
Fortunately, the benefits of AI greatly outweigh the drawbacks. Based on Intel’s recent survey, it appears that hospitals will be at the forefront of AI technology.