By Ngumbo Njoroge
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) was named the second most important medical innovation in the coming year because of its potential to help doctors with decision support, image analysis and patient triage, according to the Cleveland Clinic, a panel of physicians and scientists.
“With AI’s continued integration into healthcare, caring for patients has become a matter of working smarter, not harder,” the ranking reads.
Currently, most applications of AI are narrow, only able to carry out specific tasks or solve pre-defined problems.
Its potential can be applied in areas of clinical care, public health, medical research, healthcare organization and consumer-facing applications.
According to a study the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, has the potential to be used to aid early detection of infectious disease outbreaks and sources of epidemics, such as water contamination. In the UK it has been used to predict adverse drug reactions estimated to cause up to 7 percent of hospital admissions.
AI also has potential to aid the diagnosis of disease and is currently being trialled for this purpose in some hospitals globally. Using AI to analyse clinical data, research publications, and professional guidelines could also help to inform decisions about treatment.
The study identifies potential areas of AI use in clinical care as medical imaging, screening for neurological conditions and surgery.
“Robotic tools controlled by AI have been used in research to carry out specific tasks in keyhole surgery, such as tying knots to close wounds.”
AI tools are being developed that analyse speech patterns to predict psychotic episodes and identify and monitor symptoms of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
In addition, AI can be used to analyse and identify patterns in large and complex datasets faster and more precisely than has previously been possible. It can also be used to search the scientific literature for relevant studies, and to combine different kinds of data.
Information tools or chat-bots driven by AI are being used to help with the management of chronic medical conditions.
TOP 10 MEDICAL INNOVATIONS OF 2019
The list ranks the top innovations expected to have the most significant impact in healthcare in the coming year.
- Alternative therapy for pain in the fight against opioids
- The advent of AI in healthcare
- Expanded window for acute stroke intervention
- Advanced in immunotherapy for cancer treatment
- Patient-specific products achieved with 3D printing
- Virtual and mixed reality for medical education
- Visor for prehospital stroke diagnosis
- Innovation in robotic surgery
- Mitral and tricuspid valve percutaneous replacement and repair
- RNA-based therapies