Current AI Trends in Healthcare

Oladimeji Ewumi | Aug 30, 2022

The history of AI in healthcare dates back to 1966, when Joseph Weizenbaum, a professor emeritus of computer science, developed ELIZA — the world’s first chatbot that mimics a patient-psychotherapist conversation. Since then, the use of artificial intelligence has expanded into areas such as diagnostic tools and radiological image analysis. The technology is progressively gaining broad acceptance from healthcare consumers, providers, and payors.

As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued its first global report on guidelines for using and designing artificial intelligence in healthcare in 2021. While there is growing adoption by the medical community, a study published in the Nature Portfolio Journal examined consumers’ acceptance of AI. Patients expressed concerns, including costs and potential bias, yet were excited, optimistic, and supportive of emerging AI technologies.

Here are 4 areas where AI is transforming healthcare:

Fertility

The fertility industry covers genetic testing, IVF, reproductive tissue storage, and donor services. According to reports by WHO, many people will require fertility care, including IVF, due to reproductive risk factors and low rates of successful conception. When including the LGBTQ+ population and individuals undergoing preservation before cancer treatment, genetic testing, and proactive egg freezing, David Sable estimates the number of babies needing IVF will rise to over 1.2 billion!

AI is one of the most promising technologies to help meet this growing demand for Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). One of the first areas that commercial companies are developing solutions is AI in embryology, with research ongoing in other promising areas. This review of AI technologies in reproductive medicine concludes that artificial intelligence–driven approaches are likely to be more objective, more rapid, and, most importantly, more accurate.

Interestingly, evidence showed that 72 percent of professionals across different sectors, including reproductive health, are willing to incorporate AI into patient care. With AI, reproductive practitioners now have better visibility into the clinical, laboratory, and pharmacological parameters to improve fertility outcomes.

Health Monitoring

AI-powered remote wearable technology has become a functional part of everyday life, helping people stay in control of their health and reducing in-patient appointment times. Wearable devices collect, transfer, and analyze physiological data to give users real-time insights into their vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, blood glucose level, and oxygen saturation.

According to a 2020 national survey that evaluated consumer acceptance patterns of wearable technology, 30 percent of US adults use a wearable health device. 82.38 percent of these are willing to share health from their wearable with their healthcare provider.

Reports from 2021 suggest that about 1.1 billion people use a health-monitoring wearable device, and current trends predict the number to increase to over 2 billion in the next decade.

Clinical Diagnosis

A clinical diagnosis is usually the first step for a person with a medical condition. An accurate diagnosis can help the physician map out an appropriate treatment plan.

Many physicians are leveraging AI algorithms to improve the precision of medical diagnosis, reduce burnout, and de-escalate patient wait times.

Cardiovascular disease remains a common health condition and the leading cause of death worldwide. In early 2022, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service developed and implemented the first AI tool to detect heart disease in patients within 20 seconds using an MRI scanner. The NHS plans to make it available to various health systems within the UK and abroad.

Results of one of the first randomized trials researching the use of an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm as an assessment tool for cardiac function suggest that AI is superior to initial sonographer assessment.

Surgery

According to a 2020 study published in the British Medical Journal, 1 in 6 patients of 310 million yearly surgeries needs intensive postoperative care due to intraoperative adverse events.

Interestingly, surgical artificial intelligence is one of the latest technological adoptions in healthcare.

A team of surgeons from the Surgical Artificial Intelligence and Innovative Laboratory (SAIIL) of the Massachusetts General Hospital is utilizing AI to get real-time insights on navigating complex, high-risk surgeries and improving surgical workflows.

If you are interested in learning more about AI-powered IVF, send us an email.