It’s hard to imagine what the future of healthcare, driven by the seemingly limitless power of AI, will look like.
But indicators of what is to come are here today, and many patients around the world are already seeing results.
Some of the most exciting developments in healthcare are using AI to achieve results never before possible. Some of these advances are the result of years of painstaking research, while others are relatively unexpected leaps forward.
New Advances in AI-Driven Healthcare Monitoring and Prediction
Complex diseases like diabetes have long eluded easy prediction, diagnosis, and care. While doctors know some of the most critical factors contributing to these types of diseases, many remain a mystery.
AI has the unique ability to filter through reams of data so vast that a human being could not possibly find a meaningful pattern. Perhaps the most powerful use of this technology will be in the field of healthcare monitoring and disease prevention.
With wearable healthcare monitoring devices becoming more commonplace, patients are entering an era where real-time healthcare data can introduce sweeping changes to how we understand disease development. Instead of drawing conclusions based on incomplete sets of data gathered from clinical trials, artificially intelligent engines can spot patterns in entire populations.
This could lead to advances in preventing some of the most tenacious and difficult-to-predict diseases of the modern era – Diabetes, Cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and more. So far, predicting the onset of these diseases with any degree of certainty has eluded researchers.
Exciting Potential for AI in Drug Discovery
For another perspective on how AI is transforming the healthcare industry, it’s helpful to look at the pharmaceutical sector. Discovering drugs is traditionally a difficult, arduous, and exorbitantly expensive endeavor. Bringing a single new drug to market costs about $2.6 billion.
The reasons are myriad – individual human chemists need to sift through dozens of thousands of chemical compounds to search for a few that seem to have promising pharmaceutical properties. Of those few compounds, fewer still will be selected for further research. A handful of those compounds will eventually be tested in human clinical trials, and a small fraction of those drugs will successfully obtain approval.
AI has the power to streamline drug discovery in two ways:
- It can vastly improve the speed at which chemists identify compounds with pharmaceutical potential.
- It can generate more accurate models for simulating the effects of pharmaceutical products, streamlining the approval process.
But there are challenges that the next generation of healthcare thought leaders must meet. These span the range of identifying value-generating strategies for healthcare AI to addressing the culpability of decisions made by artificially intelligent machines – the black box problem. AI-driven innovation will continue to lead the way in transforming the healthcare industry, setting the stage for the great minds of the next generation to apply themselves now.
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