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Health and Disease

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

This article explores some of the fantastic potential uses of artificial intelligence in the field of healthcare and why these systems are likely to become much more prevalent in the near future.

By Arya Bhatt
Published 2:57 EST, Sun December 19th, 2021

Artificial intelligence in healthcare requires human intelligence and input. As technology has vastly developed and is already a huge part of our lives in the 21st century, it’s only expected to get better. Tasks involving visual perception, complex decision-making, and other operations have only been possible with human input. Still, various technologies are now available to make jobs for humans much easier and more efficient.

One fantastic implementation of this has been seen in robotic surgery. Carrying out surgery on any level requires excellent strength in manual dexterity and concentration. With the instruments being used to aid surgeons in completing surgeries with great efficiency are already of a high level and complexity, the robots being continuously developed are able to complete actions almost autonomously due to the sheer development of artificial intelligence. For example, the Da Vinci surgical system is able to complete some surgeries completely without human input. Even though there are some ethical arguments against completely autonomous robotic surgery, it is highly efficient. With correct implementation, the results will be far better for the patient too. Furthermore, this artificial intelligence in robotic systems has been applied in dentistry too. A robot in China has successfully been able to fit dental implants into a patient without any human involvement. The surgical report mentioned that this system could be an excellent tool to aid dental surgeons when working in small spaces in the mouth. As artificial intelligence has developed in systems in robotic surgery, the ideas of visual perception and decision making can be mimicked by the robot to a great degree of detail, resulting in more successful surgeries and better results. At the same time, initial thoughts from some fear that these systems used extensively may lead to some surgeons becoming redundant, but this is highly unlikely due to the extent of monitoring required. The future will likely involve a larger proportion of surgeries to be robotically assisted by surgeons rather than be completely autonomous.

Furthermore, artificial intelligence has even been utilised to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. With machine learning being an integral part of A.I., it has been utilised to assess data from a multitude of lung scans, improving treatment options and even identifying variants. A.I. has been used to forecast the spread of COVID-19 as analysing large volumes of data is impossible with just human brain power. Detecting patterns and forming predictions of consequences have been an integral part of the model created at the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub in California. Even the use of chatbots to communicate to the public about their questions about COVID-19 has ensured healthcare resources are not strained.

Imaging and scans are an ever-existing part of the healthcare sector. They allow for an in-depth view of the human body to diagnose, monitor, and treat healthcare conditions without a physical intrusion. In radiology, A.I. and machine learning can aid radiologists in diagnosing certain conditions that may be difficult to spot at first. It is evident that radiologists are trained to recognise these patterns but utilising machine learning will allow for a greater in-depth analysis of how scans/images have changed over time, leading to a better diagnosis for a patient. At the same time, if these systems are put in place in the general healthcare sector, they need to be highly developed to identify conditions just from an image. This form of machine learning resolution takes a long time to be very successful and ensure widespread use. Care has to be taken to make sure nothing is missed, so, in the present, trained radiologists who are aware of how to identify conditions from scans should be the ones making diagnostic decisions.

Overall, from this insight into how A.I. is used in the healthcare sector, it can be seen that with the conjunction of A.I. and technology, patient diagnosis and care can be completed to a higher level, resulting in a better quality of life for all patients and therefore a healthier population. Even though the technology is still far from being used in all environments, recent developments have already shown that the future is promising.

Arya Bhatt, Youth Medical Journal 2021

References:

Miyanger, V., 2019. Robot dentist in China is first to fit implants in patient without any human involvement. (online) Available at: https://dentistry.co.uk/2019/04/26/robot-dentist-china-first-fit-implants-patient-without-human-involvement/

Sivasubramanian, S., 2020. How AI and machine learning are helping to tackle COVID-19. (online) World Economic Forum. Available at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/how-ai-and-machine-learning-are-helping-to-fight-covid-19/

Loria, K., 2021. Putting the AI in Radiology. Radiology Today, (online) Available at: https://www.radiologytoday.net/archive/rt0118p10.shtml

By Arya Bhatt

Arya Bhatt is a student in London, UK.

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