Fixing Healthcare’s Problems with Artificial Intelligence Could be a Viable Solution

by Machine Learning
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The healthcare industry has been going through some serious growth pains lately.  Some of them have to do with mandates that have come down from the government, others have been goals or standards that have been set to improve care, and yet others have been from implementing technology into everyday practices.  One such serious technology boost has been in the field of AI.  Many providers are wondering if fixing healthcare’s problems with artificial intelligence is possible, and they may be helping to propel it forward. 

Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security

It doesn’t take long to find a story about how cyberhackers have stolen information or broken into some company’s database.  It is one of the hardest attacks to prevent for the sheer fact that security is always playing a catch-up game to the newest hacker code.  Healthcare companies have been highly targeted due to the fact that so much critical information is stored in medical records.  It is for this reason that healthcare organizations would like to utilize artificial intelligence as a way to combat and ultimately protect patients’ records.  AI cyber security would be able to distinguish when a doctor is trying to pull up a patient’s information and when a hacker was maliciously working to get to data. 

Cyber-attacks are on the rise, and there are no bounds to which hackers are limited in order to get what they want.  If there were ways to protect the information stored about patients more securely, healthcare organizations would do just about anything they could to implement it.  And, AI could very well be that answer due to the fact that it has the ability to learn from the past, and may not restricted by human intervention and reactions.  Though not possible yet, the marriage between artificial intelligence in healthcare and cyber security could be seen as the response to all the invasions and attacks on the healthcare data storages. 

Artificial Intelligence and Remote Data

Healthcare data has gone through a massive change in just the last couple of decades.  It used to be that all patient’s records were kept at a specific location, and if information needed to be shared, it had to physically be copied and carried to another location.  Today, it is mandated that medical documents are to be electronically stored and thus easily transferred and shared across town or across the world, when necessary.  But, even with this digitizing of data, there are issues of siloed data within a single organization.  The old ways of storing data meant that financial and insurance information was stored in a database or data warehouse completely separated from the medical information.  This was initially thought to be a security precaution; in that there was no reason for a biller to pull up medical records. 

However, with the rising costs of healthcare and the need to correlate all aspects of healthcare, these separations are causing problems, some of which might be mitigated by implementing and AI system that could break down the invisible barriers, and coordinate information, care and any other relevant data in order to provide efficient and precision care.  Part of the way in which this would be possible is that AI has the ability to learn and talk to other like machines, which removes barriers that cause wasted time, energy and money. 

Artificial Intelligence and Cost Control

Getting and keeping costs under control is nothing new, but something that the healthcare industry hasn’t been able to do very well.  It is understandable that new technologies have been implemented, which come at a cost to both providers and recipients.  Yet, the care that we are receiving doesn’t seem to be in line with the amount of increase that has come to each of us.  Some of this can be linked with inefficiencies, redundancies and overall wasteful management, but organizations don’t always know where these problems are happening and definitely don’t know how to fix the problem. 

Implementing AI to drill through all the information and find the troublesome areas, and then provide actionable data in where changes should be made could help to get many of these costs under control.  This is also see as extremely helpful in the respect that many goals and mandates within the healthcare industry and organizations change quite often.  Because AI is an ever-evolving entity, setting up new agendas wouldn’t have to be seen as an overhaul, but instead a memo line added into the programming that produces a few new program changes.  This sort of streamlining may work to cut costs both at the frontend of processes as well as the backend. 

Artificial Intelligence and Better Care

One of the most notable goals for any healthcare organization is to provide better care.  As previously stated, there are new technologies, such as better machines, that are being utilized to more accurately diagnose and monitor a patient.  When machines can talk to other machines and coordinate what is happening with a patient, the less likelihood there might be for human error to creep in by way of written mistakes, misunderstood dictations, or forgotten information.  Synchronization of patient information can lead to more accurate diagnoses, predictions of possible future events, and prescriptive findings to prevent negative outcomes.

By no means are we talking about having a robot take over and handle all medical treatments and procedures; there are some things that AI cannot account for or perform, and that is why the healthcare industry isn’t planning for or getting ready to replace all medical professionals.  At moments, especially right now, some gut decisions and the care of human touch cannot be circumvented.

There are many challenges that the healthcare industry faces right now, and fixing healthcare’s problems with artificial intelligence looks to have many possibilities, as well as positive influence for those both providing care and those receiving it.  AI is just a tool and can’t replace everything that medical professionals to, but it could be that perfect tool to aid in the delivery of care, protection of vital information, bringing together of data and controlling of costs. 

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