At Work

3 Ways AI is Changing the Future of Healthcare

By: Michael McQueen

AI is making waves in every industry, and healthcare is not exempt.

While the health industry is undoubtedly one in which the presence of humans is essential, the ever-increasing capabilities of artificial intelligence are opening up possibilities for processes to be streamlined in a way that benefits both healthcare professionals and patients.

Here are 3 ways in which AI is impacting the future of healthcare:

1. Patients May Take Instructions From Robots

While it may be the area in which human touch is most needed, patient care is one place where will likely start to see the influx of AI.

A startup called Hippocratic AI is now offering AI nurses, which have been designed to provide care to patients. This care can include pre-operative preparation and post-discharge instructions about for example optimising recovery or taking medications – conversations it conducts over video chat. The company points to the technology as cheaper alternative to nurses.[1]

The technology can also assist in patient interactions by freeing up a clinician from their administrative tasks, allowing a greater focus on the patient. For example, documenting appointments may now be automated, meaning clinicians can turn their attention to listening and engaging with the patient rather than focusing on recording their data. Scheduling appointments will also be streamlined, as patients can liaise with AI rather than the front office.[2]

With its ability to translate data into key insights, AI will also enable clinicians to make faster and more informed decisions, meaning greater potential for quick diagnoses and treatment.[3]

2. Hospital Functions Will be Streamlined

Behind the scenes of patient interactions, AI is now able to help with the administrative side of a clinician’s job and implement many of the functions that keep hospitals and healthcare organisations running.

Generative AI uses algorithms to organise and interpret unstructured data sets. This means the technology can help clinicians with filling in patient information, writing clinical notes, and creating diagnostic images and medicinal charts. On top of this, AI can create discharge summaries, checklists, lab summaries and clinical orders. Human oversight is still required in the process as the technology is still highly prone to errors, but it can execute much of the work that bogs doctors and nurses down.[4]

A hurdle often faced by hospital workers is that their workplaces are often made up of systems that don’t easily communicate. In response to this frustration, generative AI chatbots may be able to serve employees by answering IT and HR related questions and summarising information about different departments to enable more streamlined communication.[5]

Within the health insurance sector, AI can respond to the rising demand for more personalised services by explaining relevant policies in a chatbot function, or summarising the claim denial letters for customers. This will help to mitigate rising healthcare costs, as well as bolstering communications between healthcare organisations and customers.[6]

3. AI Will Improve Medical Treatment

Finally, with the implementation of AI in the healthcare industry, medical treatments and procedures can be improved significantly.

In a recent example, doctors at Cromwell Hospital adopted the use of the Apple Vision Pro for a surgical procedure. During both the surgery preparations and the surgery itself, the nurse had the Vision Pro googles on, enabling them to view virtual screens and monitor the process while it was happening. The software used was developed by eXeX which is a company that designs AI-driven apps for surgeons.[7]

Not only will surgeries be improved with the integration of AI technology, but so will the detection of illnesses. With cancer trends on the rise, a healthtech company in the US, Ezra, has created a full body MRI system that uses AI to scan for cancer in up to 13 organs. The AI technology then converts the MRI images and radiology reports into results written in accessible language that highlight key findings.[8]

There is scope for AI to be integrated in almost every facet of the health industry, all the way from patient care to administrative functions, hospital and healthcare organisation communications, and the surgeries, procedures and diagnoses themselves.

While the integration of AI is very impressive, there is still a long way to go in developing some of its crucial technologies. One recent study revealed that people are increasingly turning to ChatGPT to attempt to self-diagnose their symptoms, but the rates of the chatbot’s accuracy in answering health-related questions were dismal.[9] AI has exploded onto the scene of many industries, and is a rapidly-developing technology. But when it comes to the care of human beings, so far, other human beings win every time.

Michael McQueen is a trends forecaster, change strategist and award-winning conference speaker.

He features regularly as a commentator on TV and radio and is a bestselling author of 10 books. His most recent book Mindstuck: Mastering the Art of Changing Minds explores the psychology of stubborness and the art of 21st century influence.

To see Michael speaking live, click here.

For more information on Michael’s keynote speaking topics,

[1] Rylah, J B 2024, ‘Are AI nurses the future of health care?’, The Hustle, 22 March

[2] Zurkiya, D N 2024, ‘The power of generative AI to transform the patient experience’, McKinsey & Co, 7 March

[3] Zurkiya, D N 2024, ‘The power of generative AI to transform the patient experience’, McKinsey & Co, 7 March

[4] Bhasker, S, Bruce, D, Lamb, J & Stein, G 2024, ‘Tackling healthcare’s biggest burdens with generative AI’, McKinsey & Co, 10 July

[5] Bhasker, S, Bruce, D, Lamb, J & Stein, G 2024, ‘Tackling healthcare’s biggest burdens with generative AI’, McKinsey & Co, 10 July

[6] Bhasker, S, Bruce, D, Lamb, J & Stein, G 2024, ‘Tackling healthcare’s biggest burdens with generative AI’, McKinsey & Co, 10 July

[7] Germain, T 2024, ‘Doctors Are Using the Apple Vision Pro During Surgery’, Gizmodo, 15 March.

[8] Khoury, K 2024, ‘Revolutionising early cancer detection with AI’, SpringWise, 29 February.

[9] Thomsaon, A 2024, ‘Why you shouldn’t ask ChatGPT for medical advice’, Sydney Morning Herald, 4 April.

Article supplied with thanks to Michael McQueen.

About the Author: Michael is a trends forecaster, business strategist and award-winning conference speaker.

Feature image: Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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