picture of Robot and human hands representing the covergence of the healthcare industry and AI

Convergence of the Healthcare Industry and Artificial Intelligence: A New Era

November 28th, 2017 - 0 Comments

How is the rapid evolution of AI changing the way we manage patient care and diagnose disorders?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer a novel word or concept. Its utilization, from within the automobile industry to the defense sector has been widely covered in the media. Now, the application of AI in the healthcare industry is working to kickstart a new era for health and patient care

The importance of AI in the healthcare industry: Why the shift from humans to computers?

As the years go by, we are witnessing how AI is transforming and redesigning healthcare. It is helping to resolve a number of ongoing problems experienced in the healthcare industry. The following are just a few notable ways:

  • Data retrieval – When it comes to sourcing accurate information in the healthcare industry, most problems arise due to the speed and efficiency of accessing data. Up until recently, data was limited and as such, human intelligence was good enough to identify sensible information. However, due to the growth of Big Data, it has become clear that we need to switch to AI and improved health technology to sufficiently and thoroughly track all data.
  • Data Integration – It is estimated that around 10,000 new publications are uploaded across the globe daily, and among these publications is a huge variety of biomedical databases and journals. Knowing this, it is almost impossible to process all the scientific knowledge without the use of AI. It is difficult to create new, usable knowledge without the ability to correlate, assimilate, and connect all this data.
  • Planning Treatment – AI can be used to provide physicians with a platform to manage, collect, and store patient data. This provides the potential to organize and improve patient care, giving physicians all the information they need in real time.

Some applications of AI in the healthcare industry

Now that we know of the importance of AI in the healthcare industry, let us look at some of the applications of AI in healthcare:

  1. AI can be used for mining medical records

The most obvious application of AI in healthcare is data management. The first step in revolutionizing the existing healthcare system is collecting, storing, and normalizing data in addition to tracing its lineage.


  1. Smart electronic health records

Integrating AI into electronic health records aids diagnostics, clinical decisions, and personalized treatment suggestions.


  1. Disease identification/diagnosis

The use of AI in the field of cancer detection is already underway. In October 2016, IBM Watson Health announced the formation of IBM Watson Genomics, a partnership initiative with Quest Diagnostics, which aims to make strides in precision medicine by integrating cognitive computing and genomic tumor sequencing. Other major examples include Google’s DeepMind Health, which announced multiple UK-based partnerships last year, including one with Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, where they are developing the technology to address macular degeneration in aging eyes.


  1. Drug discovery

AI has a vital role to play in amplifying the work of drug development researchers to form essential new knowledge. The technology will help with the selection of patients for clinical trials and enable companies to identify issues with compounds much earlier in terms of efficacy and safety. It can be used to build a strong and sustainable pipeline of new medicines.


  1. Clinical trial research

Clinical trials sometimes take more than a decade and cost billions of dollars. Speeding up these trials (which AI promises to do) and making them more cost-effective would have an enormous effect on today’s healthcare and how innovations reach everyday medicine.


  1. Radiology and radiotherapy

Incorporating AI into radiology involves research on the development of algorithms capable of detecting differences in healthy and cancerous tissues to help improve radiation treatments. It speeds up the segmentation process (ensuring that no healthy structures are damaged) and increases the accuracy of radiotherapy planning.


  1. Epidemic outbreak prediction

The prediction of epidemic outbreaks is now possible based on data collected from satellites, historical information on the web, real-time social media updates, and other sources. For example, ProMED-mail monitors emerging diseases and provides outbreak reports in real time, using an internet-based reporting program.


  1. Designing treatment plans

AI enables the advanced ability to analyze the meaning and context of structured and unstructured data in clinical notes and reports critical to selecting a patient pathway. Then, by combining attributes from the patient’s file with clinical expertise, external research, and data, the program identifies potential treatment plans for a patient.


  1. Precision medicine

The world of genetics deals with huge data sets of genetic information and medical records, AI will have a huge impact in this field by identifying patterns in these massive data sets, looking for mutations and linkages to disease. A new generation of computational technologies is being used that informs doctors regarding the changes within a cell when DNA is altered by genetic variation, natural or therapeutic.


  1. Personalized treatment

The proliferating volumes of data from patient medical history records, treatment data, and lately information from wearable health trackers and sensors could be analyzed in detail, not only to provide patients with better suggestions about lifestyle, but also to serve healthcare with defining chunks of information on how to design itself based on the needs and habits of patients.

There is definitely a place in healthcare to store and access data via a computerized system. Due to the enormous amount of data in healthcare, it promises to be the most happening sector for an AI disruption. This impending disruption will completely change the way patient care is delivered globally. AI in healthcare is already changing the way doctors are treating patients, saving money, and making treatment more efficient and tailored for each patient.

GoogleMind, IBM Watson, and many more are in the process of converging AI into the healthcare industry, which has already given some life-changing outputs. However, we are a long way away from a completely computerized system. Improving real-time decision making, aiding medical treatment, and avoiding errors are steps in the right direction, with healthcare depending on data and analytics. Although the state of “real AI” is yet to be explored and is in the budding stage, it may materialize into a fuller picture in the near future, revolutionizing the healthcare ecosystem.


phamax is dedicated to simplifying pharmaceutical market accesscomplexities and improving patient care for thousands of individuals across the globe. To find out exactly how we can facilitate and streamline processes within your business, get in touch on info@phamax.ch.

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