The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Healthcare


Written by Thorgate

November 04, 2021 | 4 min read

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Data labeling for machine learning in healthcare has facilitated the development of AI-aided tools and improved the workforce. Quality healthcare services prevent illnesses, thus, improving the quality of life. Most businesses are designed to make financial profits, but healthcare focuses on enabling social support to serve the community best. AI has become a game-changer in all healthcare, offering unique pros over the traditional clinical decision-making models and analytics. This ultimate article covers all critical aspects of AI in healthcare and how it impacts fundamental operations.

  • AI in Healthcare
  • Positive impacts of AI in Healthcare
  • Negative Impacts of AI in Healthcare
  • Future of AI in healthcare
  • Key Takeaways

AI in Healthcare

Machine learning algorithms and advanced intelligent technologies have become an area of interest in healthcare, from primary and secondary care to tertiary care. The technology has helped medical workers make computer-guided decisions by mimicking human operations. AI devices and applications analyze medical data to process and make predictions to improve clinical outcomes and workflows. In the long run, AI has reduced cost, time, and human labor, thus becoming a cure for the endless glitches faced by healthcare!

Positive impacts of AI in Healthcare

Healthcare has become a leading utilizer of AI-embedded services, including automated robotics. The following are some of the positive impacts of AI experienced in diverse areas of healthcare;

  • Diagnostics: Pathologists use AI analytics to assess numerous pathologies, thus fostering accurate diagnosis. AI-driven CT scanners, MRI and X-rays, and microscopes are used to identify, evaluate, and diagnose early-stage pathologies. 
  • Democratizing clinical excellence and knowledge: AI enables real-time diagnosis and sharing without doctors’ direct involvement.  For instance, people AI use AI to diagnose eye problems in ophthalmology that would otherwise require an in-person consultation.
  • Advanced Treatments: Patients with neuromuscular disorders, hearing and vision problems use Computer-Brain Interfaces to communicate and perceive environmental stimuli that help them function completely without physical constraints. In addition to that, AI-enabled immunotherapy models such as immune signatures, medical imaging, and histopathology help cancer patients receive advanced care. AI is utilized to synthesize complex data to offer target therapies unique to every individual depending on their genotype. 

Negative impacts of AI in healthcare

  • Medical errors: Patients could be at risk if AI-enabled tools make wrong predictions and decisions. For instance, if an AI radiological system overlooks a specific malignancy, the patient may be at risk of missing the proper medication at the right time. Errors during data labeling may result in severe injuries and damage to many patients since those are used to train models that find applications in AI. The best way to avoid this is to use an approach where all AI-led processes are initially human supervised until the machine learning algorithms make it possible to fully phase out human assistance to AI. This is why smart AI software developers would keep the process lean and iterative.
  • Confidentiality concerns: Building a practical AI tool requires private data. This can trigger serious security concerns if shared with third parties, such as financial or insurance companies. It is possible to avoid security breaches by using an experienced team to ensure data security.
  • Professional realignment: AI can replace fundamental healthcare workers such as radiologists. Most imaging tools such as MRIs in radiology are guided by AI, which is automated to perform better than human beings, thus creating a threat to the human workforce. Therefore, most companies would need to embrace training their existing employees on emerging technologies. We wrote a relevant article to this problem as it already emerges in the fintech industry much like healthtech. 
    Read 'Will AI and Automation replace jobs?"

Future of AI in healthcare

WHO estimates an 18 million increase in demand for healthcare professionals by 2030.  The supply of the current workers in the world will not cater to healthcare needs in the future. AI will alleviate shortages in the workforce, advance threat and risk management, provide efficient protection of health data, improve health outcomes through technology-aided decisions and treatment models. 

Inequality and bias may continue to prevail if AI developers do not utilize the responsible AI and other ethical and legal strategies that minimize such challenges. 

Key Takeaways

AI is the engine to all positive revolutions in the health sector, promoting more precise and effective interventions to assess and manage risks. It redefined the health sector by enabling proper detection of pathologies, effective treatment while securing patients' data at a lower cost. Accuracy has been enhanced and maintained by AI, solving critical and life-threatening issues. Efficiency and accuracy are maintained, thus reducing the number of rejections of the drugs in clinical trials. 

AI-enhanced screenings and testing have ensured the early detection of illnesses, thus promoting early and efficient treatments. AI will therefore lower the cost and time of healthcare operations while creating new opportunities and minimizing medical delays that increase mortality and morbidity rates.

Key examples of E-health companies leveraging AI can be seen here: 

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