By Thanh Pham, CEO of Saigon Technology
Artificial intelligence has come to the forefront when it comes to revolutionizing several industries including healthcare. With every passing year, it is gaining momentum and things that seemed impossible to do just a few years ago are now possible with the help of AI. Whether it’s diagnostic or treatment of a patient, AI has started to become a reliable tool. According to a research by Gartner, at least 3/4th of healthcare organizations have already invested a considerable amount in the AI potential. The thought process behind this investment in AI is that the advantage of AI driven medical tools as well as research is going to be immense for doctors and patients.
Below we will be looking at various Pros and Cons of AI adoption in Healthcare.
Easier to access healthcare facilities: According to the World health organization, there’s a huge disparity between the availability of health facilities amongst the wealthiest and poorest nations. This disparity causes a whooping 18.1-year gap in life expectancy between poorest and richest countries. AI innovation can play a huge role in minimizing this gap by creating an efficient healthcare system. AI based apps are getting commonly available now and are used to increase the accessibility of medical diagnosis in poor nations.
AI helps in early diagnosis: By implementing AI, healthcare professionals can reap the benefit of early detection by pinpointing any risks highlighted by the AI algorithm. The AI database gathered over a period of time compiles a lot of symptoms and diagnosis to accurately predict potential health risks in a patient.
AI cuts down time needed in diagnosis: AI based healthcare apps have a strong advantage in coming up with accurate disease diagnosis in a swift time frame. This is possible because of the amount of data and millions of symptoms/diagnosis these AI apps have. This makes AI more time efficient and cost efficient in coming up with the disease diagnosis.
AI as a useful assistant while performing surgeries: AI and robotics are combining to help health professionals perform tiniest and most complex surgeries. AI tools also empower doctors by providing vital information about the patient’s condition as the surgery is being performed.
AI supports people with disability and mental health issues: With vastly improved robotics present in today’s world, people with disability are able to enjoy its benefits. Smart limbs help amputees and paralyzed people to lead some sort of normal life. These robotic limbs and there are some robots that come with inbuilt AI functionality that helps patients suffering from depression to learn from their personality traits and help them feel more positive.
Lack of human touch and emotions: Robots with AI functionalities are eventually machines without any need to feel human emotions. On the other hand, while treating a patient, doctors do build a connection on an emotional level which does help in keeping the morale of patients high.
AI and Robotics can cause high unemployment rates in the healthcare industry: With the improving technology and implementation of AI on various levels with-in the healthcare facility, there is a serious risk that all tasks performed traditionally by humans will be replaced by machines. Because of this many healthcare professionals are at risk of losing their livelihood.
Chances of mistakes by AI: Although there are very limited chances of this happening but for certain diseases to be diagnosed correctly, AI would need data gathered from millions of patients in order for it to make correct detections. The chances of making a mistake increase if the data available is not sufficient.
Social implications: Since AI doesn’t understand human emotions and nature, it can provide solutions that may or may be feasible for certain patients. For example, AI can recommend an expensive cure to a disease but the patient might not belong to a high income group to afford that treatment. Whereas humans (doctors) recommend treatment as per the social and financial situation of a patient.
AI may have some negative implications and challenges but overall the benefits of using AI in healthcare outweigh the risks involved. The growing demand for AI driven tools and apps for healthcare is going to speed up with medical professionals also cheering for it.
Healthcare apps will become rather important and crucial when it comes to promoting healthy lifestyles, daily fitness, and instant access to medical applications. AI enabled apps will not only be helpful for patients, but doctors are also going to find these applications to be useful in terms of eliminating possible shortcomings, excessive medical expenses, and providing quick fixes in the digital transformation point of view. With the heavy reliance on technology, there is increasing stress on ensuring that a higher quality version of the application, that is also well tested, is provided to the users.
About the Author
Thanh (Bruce) Pham is the Founder & CEO of Saigon Technology, a leading software consulting firm in Vietnam with the power of 200 engineers, nice to e-meet you. He is also the author in Forbes, Business.com, Tech In Asia, and a proud member of the Forbes Technology Council.
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