By Tuomas Yla Kauttu (Source @ Mind This Magazine),
Health is one of the most precious assets that humans have over their lives. Yet, it can be something that is overlooked for a long time and only given attention when the first symptoms of a disease arise. The general discussion on healthcare is shifting from sick care to preventive medicine where future illnesses are tackled years before they ever occur. This is done with more holistic treatment plans which aim to increase the overall wellness of people combining crucial factors such as diet, exercise, sleep, wellness and work-life balance together. Embedding exponential technologies including AI to healthcare will help to augment this patient experience and enable people to get more personalized service.
Complementing a doctor’s human intuition with the precision and completeness of AI in medical diagnosis could be one of the greatest revolutions in healthcare since hand-washing. The unbelievable scale of research on human health is more than any single human brain can usefully process and AI is starting to out- perform even the best human doctors. UK-based startup Babylon Health is developing an AI doctor app which aims to empower doctors and healthcare professionals to be even more accessible to a larger share of the population. The company’s scientists believe that their technology will soon be better at diagnosing diseases and personal health problems than doctors but the company states that it’s more about collaboration than competition.
There are currently hundreds of startups entering the healthcare industry with different types of AI solutions and established corporations and investors are increasingly funding this growth. Healthcare is the hottest area of AI investing with a total amount of 270 deals in the category since 2012. Machine learning and predictive analytics are being applied to an enormous amount of different use cases from virtual nurses, drug discovery and population health management to oncology and diagnosis from digital images. Routines tasks such as scheduling appointments and patient monitoring can be automated using AI as well as bring bring efficiency and scale to patient work as doctors are able to operate multiple machines and robots at the same time. Many of these new startups are significantly lowering the costs of providing healthcare services or augmenting the way these services are provided.