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Potential role of artificial intelligence in healthcare; applications for COVID-19 pandemic Potential role of artificial intelligence in healthcare; applications for COVID-19 pandemic
Potential role of artificial intelligence in healthcare; applications for COVID-19 pandemic Potential role of artificial intelligence in healthcare; applications for COVID-19 pandemic

The technology in healthcare is evolving at a rapid pace, and the healthcare industry is felicitous for significant changes. The sudden technological advancements have uprooted the traditional working setting of the medical community, showing frustration and dissatisfaction in the short term. Physician burnout crisis has become a prominent challenge in the healthcare industry. Healthcare providers are experiencing overwhelming frustration and a loss of professional fulfilment. [1]

Also, we are still battling with pathogens which have been with us since the advent of human history such as tuberculosis and novel pathogens from non-human hosts which are posing a major threat to the public health. The emergence of new viral infections within the last ten years that has potentially spread across international borders; the latest of this being is novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has to wreak global havoc. [2,3]

 

There is an urgent need to improve the staggering levels of physician burnout around the globe and develop responsible, data-driven solutions to help us through the current worsening humanitarian crisis in the long run. Endless opportunities are available to introduce technology in healthcare for developing more precise, practical and impactful interventions inpatient care, from chronic disease and cancer to COVID-19. The development of the recent machine learning-based tools and techniques has provided novel ways to combat such chronic disease and global pandemics. [1-3]


What is Artificial intelligence (AI)?

 

Artificial intelligence is a computer system able to perform tasks that ordinarily require human intelligence. AI has been found to be a potential engine to drive improvements across patient care. It can be defined as a conglomeration of technologies and concepts that resemble processes correlated with human intelligence such as learning, adaptation, sensory understanding and interaction. Development of data analytics and increased healthcare data availability has lead to the recent successful applications of AI in healthcare and medicine.

AI techniques guided by relevant clinical questions can help to collect clinically relevant information from a higher amount of data, which will further assist in decision making or even replace human judgement in specific functional areas of healthcare. It can be used to improve physicians workflow while providing burnout relief and reducing burden. [4]

EFFECTS OF AI IN HEALTHCARE AND MEDICINE

1) Reduce the burden of Electronic health records (EHR):

Electronic health records (EHR) plays an essential role in the healthcare industry towards, but it has been associated with other problems such as user burnout and endless documentation.  

AI can be used to automate some of the routine processes that consume greater user time. It can also be used to process routine requests from the inbox and scheduling tasks that immediately requires the clinician's attention. Voice recognition and dictation can help to improve the clinical documentation process.

2) More precise analytics for pathology and diagnosis:

Pathologists provide significant diagnostic data for providers. Most of the decisions in healthcare are based on the pathology; therefore, an increase in accuracy will increase the efficiency of diagnosis.  

 

Digital pathology and AI analytics can help to improve pixel level on extremely large digital images allowing pathologists to identify nuances which may escape the human eye. It can also improve productivity by identifying features of interest in slides, thereby increasing the efficiency and reducing the time needed for diagnosis of each patient. 

3) Transform healthcare data into actionable insights:

 

The data entered into electronic health records (EHR) needs to be processed in any discernible way. Computers and AI helps to identify data patterns and determines which data is impactful for outcomes. It allows health care organizations to generate patient summaries in a concise and meaningful way and generates new information in real-time.