medical BLOG | DATE- 2023-01-17

Artificial Intelligence in Medicine

Artificial intelligence algorithms have unimaginable potential. Within the next couple of years, it is believed that it will revolutionize every area of our life, including medicine. AI is moving from being a futuristic promise into a reference point for innovation. This is the reason why we are obliged to write this article. This paper aims to serve as a short, visual and digestible repository of information and details every physician might need to know in the age of AI.

What is AI?

Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. 

AI is expected to significantly influence the practice of medicine and the delivery of healthcare in the near future. While there are only a handful of practical examples for its medical use with enough evidence, hype and attention around the topic are significant. It is critical that physicians understand the basics of the technology so they can see beyond the hype, evaluate AI based studies and clinical validation; as well as acknowledge the limitations and opportunities of AI.

Uses of AI in medicine

Better organized  healthcare logistics

AI in healthcare and medicine could better organize patient routes or treatment plans better, and also provide physicians with literally all the information they need to make a good decision.

Integrating AI into the healthcare system could guide patients and optimize the time spent during their medical journey. It can determine where the queue is shorter and which test will take less time to perform for each patient

Mining medical records

The most obvious application of AI in health care is data management. AI collecting, storing, normalizing and tracing data is the first step in revolutionizing the existing healthcare systems. These bureaucratic tasks and managing health IT and EHR systems are, in fact, among the significant reported causes of physician burnout. But these tasks are not related to the practice of medicine. Algorithms can automate such administrative tasks to free up valuable time for healthcare professionals to dedicate to their patients and elucidate medical conditions. 

Diagnosis and treatment plans

AI algorithms can further assist in decision making to improve the accuracy of diagnoses. 

Assisting repetitive jobs

Physicians, nurses and other medical staff members have plenty of cumbersome monotonous and repetitive tasks to complete everyday. AI based solutions will eliminate the need for human labor and will replace human resources in medical jobs that people didn’t like anyway. Such solutions will ease medical professionals’ burdens for example in administration or afterhours charting.

Getting the most out of in-person and online consultations

Based in the UK, Babylon Health built a patient centered remote consultation service. It already works in Rwanda and the UK, offering medical AI consultation based on personal medical history and common medical knowledge. Patients report the symptoms of their illnesses to the app, which checks them against a database of diseases using speech recognition. After taking into account the patient's history and circumstances. 

Health assistance and medication management

The interface uses machine learning to support patients with chronic conditions in-between doctors visits. It provides proven, customized monitoring and follow-up care, with a strong focus on chronic diseases. There’s also a solution for monitoring whether patients are taking their medication for real

Precision medicine

AI will have a significant impact on genetics and genomics as well. Deep genomics aims at identifying patterns in giant data sets of genetic information and medical records, looking for mutations and linkages to disease.

Drug creation

Developing pharmaceuticals through clinical trials sometimes takes more than a decade and costs billions of dollars. Speeding this up and making it more cost-effective would have an effect on today's healthcare and how innovations reach everyday medicine. AI slashes time and cost of drug discovery and development significantly.

Open AI helping people make healthier choices and decisions

An open AI ecosystem refers to the idea that with an unprecedented amount of data available, combined with advances in natural language, processing and social awareness algorithms, applications of AI will become increasingly more useful to consumers.

Analyzing a healthcare system

97% of healthcare invoices in the Netherlands are digital containing data regarding the treatment, the doctor and the hospital. These invoices could be easily retrieved. They can tell if a doctor, clinic or hospital makes mistakes repetitively in treating a certain type of condition in order to help them improve and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations of patients. 

By now, we could be sure that the question'' can AI replace health professionals?’’ is at the back of your head.

As the saying ‘’For every advantage there’s disadvantage’’ goes, AI also comes with pitfalls. Below are the lists:

We will conclude our article by discussing a little about where Ethiopia’s AI based healthcare system is:

Ethiopia has established the Artificial intelligence center months ago under proclamation number 463/2020 by the council of ministers. AI is expected to play a significant role in achieving the country's vision to become an African beacon of prosperity. And one major role AI could play is in healthcare.

However, in developing countries like Ethiopia, inequality in medical services in urban and rural areas is a serious problem. Shortage of qualified healthcare providers and facilities is reported to be a major cause of health availability and poor quality in rural areas.

Despite the challenges the Ethiopian Artificial Intelligence center is working on making the best out of AI to our healthcare system.

For more information here is the address of Ethiopian AI center: 

WRITTEN BY - Bezawit Girma-Med In Ethiopia Team

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WRITTEN BY - Bezawit Girma

Med In Ethiopia Team

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