AI and Big Data are changing the future of the health-care sector — Here’s how

Artificial intelligence is evolving rapidly, and more industries are harnessing its power in ways that would have been unimaginable even a few years ago. Health care is one of those industries. Thanks to advancements in AI and Big Data research, more efficient systems have been developed.

As per the newest research on health-care trends, a sharp uptick in the number of health-care startups has been noted. These organizations provide drug-based research, innovative checkup methods, and overall medical research.

In fact, the developments made by these firms will assist with transferring the latest health-care technologies to underdeveloped countries as well as improving the current system of health care in the developed world. So, the marriage between health care, AI, and Big Data will prove beneficial for all involved by virtue of the following trends:

More accessible treatment

Several developments have occurred in the field of health care of late. For instance, the AI program from Microsoft has now become capable of analyzing cancer cells in various patients, making it possible for doctors to detect health issues early on.

Moreover, other AI and Big Data procedures focused on monitoring and processing patient data help reduce, and sometimes even eradicate, guesswork from diagnosis, decrease patient turnover time, and give doctors the opportunity to serve more patients.

Medical data protection

Flickr / Blue Coat Photos

As technology becomes more widespread in health care, data security is also becoming a major concern. And it makes sense considering how a stolen Social Security number or credit card information (there are people like Diana from that average comedy “Identity Thief” out there!) is replaceable, but DNA data is often left unguarded.

So, even though we have the intelligence to track potential diseases, improvements have to be made to guard that information. These questions related to security, privacy, and encryption are all major ones, and they will take precedence even more as new advancements occur in the realm of health care AI and Big Data.

People are already using direct-to-consumer genetic testing to know more information regarding their ancestry via DNA. The question is, who is the true owner of this data and how is it being guarded? Plus, what happens if the information is sold off or hacked? Who will be held accountable?

Health-care diagnosis now automated

The prevalent use of AI and Big Data in health-care processes enables systems to monitor complex patterns, thereby allowing for increased effectiveness when it comes to identifying diseases and forming a proper diagnosis.

Ultrasound, for example, now uses cloud-based systems, AI, and 3D imaging technology for greater precision and accuracy. Automating the health-care diagnosis process is not something that only small ventures and startups want; giant conglomerates such as IBM are developing Big Data platforms to increase research speed.

Rise of virtual follow-ups

The clinical staff, including nurses and attendants, no longer have to devote countless hours to follow-up processes. Why? Because patients now have the option of following up via digital processes and tools. There are many diseases and symptoms, like chronic pain, that are treated only after extensive testing and multiple visits and checkups. Of course, this puts a lot of pressure on the patients and ties up the health-care staff, who may be needed elsewhere.

Thankfully, several companies are actively striving to decrease the health care burden on the staff by employing digital apps and other AI procedures. No wonder an increasing number of patients are encouraged to go digital. Moreover, smart robot apps help patients answer frequently asked questions and track the patient’s health. Some apps even provide recommendations to patients based on their current diagnosis and past medical reports.

Discovering advanced drugs with AI and Big Data

Thanks to Big Data solutions, researchers have made amazing progress when it comes to locating new opportunities for improved drug discoveries. With the help of predictive analysis, many firms are focusing more on deep learning technologies to hasten the speed of drug discovery.

New applications of old technologies and data

Existing health-care technology is now being used innovatively to collect information pertaining to health care. The goal is to enhance the patient outcomes and provide them more autonomy and access to making health-care decisions. Big Data and AI can now optimize patient care throughout the entire process.

Some of those areas are public health, where crowdsourcing data present on popular sites and apps yield valuable insights. Instagram disclosures, for example, are now being used to track drug abuse while Yelp reviews come in handy to gauge food poisoning cases. This, along with machine learning technologies, may be used for identifying the popular trends.

What does the future hold?

AI and Big Data will play an increasingly important role in the health-care sector. Even though Big Data is not currently necessary from a velocity or volume perspective, this is going to change as soon as data from billions of sensors require storage and analysis. Another area of growth is predictive analysis. As soon as all the data is stored and retrieved, benefits may be derived from mundane segments, like waste and inventory management, and even patient care.

Of note is the fact that health-care improvements are not just limited to the first world nations. In fact, the actual change will be visible in parts of the world that rarely visit health-care professionals. One of the mandates of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN will be the radical improvement of health care in the underserved areas.

In addition, the combination of AI and Big Data will encourage changes in the coming years, as global connectivity improves and technology becomes more widespread.

Not just for the giants

The roles of AI and Big Data in the health-care sector are eagerly awaited by many. Of course, the most interesting aspect is how AI and Big Data are not just limited to big organizations; smaller firms with smaller budgets are now showing interest in exploring the world of Big Data. Hey, competition is key. Home Depot vs. Lowes, Reebok vs. Nike, Pepsi vs. Coke — this is how you get affordable prices — competition!

This level of interest ensures that organizations and companies related to the health-care industry drastically decrease the costs and raise the level of affordable high-quality medical care to the public.

Featured image: Pixabay

Benjamin Roussey

Benjamin Roussey is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. His bachelor’s degree is from CSUS (1999) where he was on a baseball pitching scholarship. He has an MBA in Global Management from the Univ. of Phoenix (2006). Currently he lives in the Phoenix area after living in Cabo San Lucas, MX for 3 years. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.

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