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AI in Healthcare?

Artificial intelligence seems destined to dominate our future. The present is already littered with examples of its industrial use. Gaming and entertainment are a few quick examples that come to mind. But Healthcare has emerged as one of the biggest winners from the rise of AI. It already plays a key role in clinical decision support, enabling earlier identification of diseases, and tailored treatment plans to ensure optimal outcomes. It is also being used to demonstrate and educate patients on potential disease pathways and outcomes.

The covid-19 vaccine, our generation’s most important vaccination which uses synthesised versions of messenger RNA (mRNA), for example, is a result of innovative advances in medical artificial intelligence. mRNA is a molecule that normally carries genetic coding from a cell’s DNA to its protein making machinery. So instead of introducing the body to a weakened version of a virus, they temporarily turn the body’s cells into tiny vaccine-making factories. This, in turn, stimulates the body to make long-lasting antibodies to the virus.

It is groundbreaking in medical technology as mRNA’s modular nature makes designing new vaccines relatively straightforward, increasing its efficiency and effectiveness. At a time when vaccinations cannot be delivered quickly enough, this is a great advantage stemming from our evolving use of technology.

Medical artificial intelligence has trickled down from large scale industrial use to everyday personal use.

Medical technology applications have become a popular daily routine, encouraging healthier behaviour in individuals. Joggers, gym instructors and even doctors are using medical applications to keep track of their health.

The digital footprint has made it easier to document patient records, reducing paper records which are inefficient and not environmentally friendly. Medical appointments or prescription collections have become much more convenient and streamlined.

Perhaps a glaring downside to these advances is a dearth of skilled AI workforce and imprecise regulatory guidelines for medical software. This is greatly hindering the market growth. Very few retain the high-level skills training and knowledge of AI systems to spearhead its growth in developing countries.

There is great need of investing in the human resources needed to participate in this industry, and this will include specialised education in the fields of AI and particularly its use in the health industry

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