Over the past few years, artificial intelligence (AI) has received a lot of attention in the medical field. Will AI be just another buzzword or truly revolutionise modern medical practice? As a healthcare enthusiast, this is my vision for the future of care.
Article by Shiron Rajendran – Healthcare enthusiast
According to a report by Accenture, the market value of artificial intelligence in the medical field is forecasted to reach $6.6 billion by 2021. This highlights the ever-increasing role of AI in medicine and the potential it has to shape the future of healthcare. AI has been hailed as “healthcare’s new nervous system”, but is this just an inflated expectation or healthy promotion?
In its current iteration, true AI does not exist. Artificial intelligence mostly refers to automating tasks that can be completed by machines, thus, reducing workload and freeing up time for humans. This unlocks time for medical professionals to spend with their patients allowing for the provision of more efficient, patient-centric care.
Automation not only has the potential to improve patient outcomes but allows healthcare providers such as the National Health Services in the UK to realise huge productivity gains and cost reductions. In this capacity, AI could be more accurately described as augmented intelligence that is complementing doctors not replacing them.
There are many barriers to adopting AI into the healthcare environment. One of many being a real fear amongst consumers that robots are driving change. The issue is consumers need to be better informed that the speed and extent to which AI is integrated into medicine is very much in our hands.
As technology changes the face of medicine, the patient narrative and the user journey need to be considered very carefully. This is to ensure that the art of medicine is not dehumanised. Within the healthcare system, AI has the potential to deliver significant value. However, this is only possible if all stakeholders (both doctors and patients alike) are placed at the heart of these discussions. Some believe that AI is killing the way medicine is practised. In reality, it is rather helping the medical profession evolve.
For healthcare professionals to “fulfil to the best of their ability” (Hippocratic Oath), they must be willing to embrace and nurture these advancing technologies. Only by addressing these concerns can we recognise the true potential of these innovative technologies.
The future of medicine will be dependent on AI but will be moulded by the visions of patients and doctors. As Bertalan Meskó, The Medical Futurist aptly captured AI will be “the stethoscope of the 21st century”, playing a critical role in medicine.
Photo credit: Kamaljith K V
By Shiron Rajendran – Healthcare enthusiast
An energetic, conscientious and reliable young man with a passion for healthcare and clinical science. A self-motivated and inquisitive individual with several years of experience in the healthcare and scientific industry. Shiron is keen to apply entrepreneurial mindset and domain knowledge in health tech/healthcare start-up.