Artificial intelligence (AI) research has become one of the most active areas in computer science, with an expectation that AI will help to solve many problems in healthcare.
The use of AI technology in healthcare is poised to dramatically improve medicine over the next few years as researchers find new ways to integrate it into patient care and clinical operations.
In 2021, WHO issued its first report on Artificial Intelligence in health. The report is the result of 2 years of consultations held by a panel of experts.
For the World Health Organization, it is the first global report that outlines six guiding principles on the design and use of AI in healthcare.
Moreover, the medical sphere has witnessed accelerated healthcare technology investments in 2021, according to Deloitte’s new Road to Next report. In general, health tech businesses received significant funding over the last few years.
Cash injections aim at promoting virtual care offerings and keeping healthcare institutions afloat during the pandemic-induced crisis.
So what does the future look like for smart medicine? Covid-19 has laid bare vulnerabilities and gaps in the medical industry and an acute need for technological disruption.
It means that in the coming years, we’ll see more data sharing, interoperability, and intelligent technologies redefining clinical pathways.
Over the last few years, healthcare providers have been able to fully appreciate the benefits of AI in healthcare. Intelligent software takes over tedious tasks, thus freeing up clinician schedules and reducing operational costs.
AI-assisted surgeries, in particular, have become a breakthrough on the way to more precise and autonomous intervention. Although being in limited use, robotic surgeons can avert major surgical implications in ophthalmology, urology, brain surgeries, and others.
Human surgeons can examine and avoid neighboring nerves and muscles thanks to the expansive view granted by AI robots.
The rotating robotic arms also allow surgical tools to be maneuvered with more precision, flexibility, and range of motion.
The doubtless potential of augmented surgeries has led to the projected market growth from $6.9 billion in 2021 to $35.3 billion by 2026. The pandemic also had a hand in nurturing the robotics infrastructure.
Moreover, AI has proved effective in hunting for new drugs. AI can take over routines, such as processing massive amounts of data to find the right information and model the most effective drug candidates.
It means that automated algorithms can amplify drug discovery and development, drug repurposing as well as improve pharmaceutical productivity, and clinical trials.
When applied to SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19 – the computer model quickly eliminated 95 percent of the compounds that could’ve possibly treated the pathogen and pinpointed the best options, the study says.
The AI-assisted method predicted 26 potential vaccines that would work against the coronavirus.
A new vaccine against the coronavirus could be developed much faster using artificial intelligence (AI), say researchers.
A milestone in drug discovery was achieved when Google DeepMind used an approach called reinforcement learning to train a computer program to narrow down previously identified strains of the virus that could cause disease.
This breakthrough made it possible to rapidly determine several protein structures of SARS-CoV-2.
“We hope to contribute to the scientific effort using the latest version of our AlphaFold system by releasing structure predictions of several under-studied proteins associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19,” published DeepMind, while also emphasizing the importance of this research for future experimental work in developing therapeutics.
All indications are that the medical community will count on more tech-driven approaches in handling various stages of patient journeys. The numbers seem encouraging as well – 60 percent of US health organizations are now prioritizing additional investment into virtual health.
The technological revolution is already here. In upcoming years, we will experience the proliferation of AI in healthcare, thus making medicine more precise, affordable, and accessible.