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The Adoption and Applications of AI and Healthcare Technologies

 

The last decade has seen the increased and continued applications of AI and Healthcare together. The AI technology industry has been growing and is getting more and more attention and it has started to see increased applications and the possibility of applications in the healthcare industry. Below we discuss some applications that have found a way to merge AI and Healthcare. The healthcare industry has been quite slow to adopt new technologies in the past because they feel like the risks outweigh the benefits as healthcare is a very serious and sensitive area. This is, however, changing as the industry is becoming more accepting of new technologies and the benefits it brings.

 

The healthcare industry has been slow to adopt these technologies because the risks may be greater than in other industries. The industry handles sensitive information that must remain secure at all times. Although the internet of things offers many potentially life-saving benefits, its technologies store patient information that must comply with patient privacy and security regulations.

 

AI and Healthcare with Surgery

 

With new AI technology, doctors can have more information when carrying out surgery. For example, doctors can tag a patient's limb or body part during surgery to be able to track its progress and to also give another doctor that might be operating on the patient in the future, the medical history, and information of that limb. This practice will lead to a reduction in errors and will make things faster as the doctors and nurses do not have to scramble for information while preparing for surgery and also during surgery.

 

AI and Healthcare Behavioral Monitoring

 

The proper behavior of healthcare professionals is very important as when they behave badly by practicing good hygiene, not following safety rules etc, it can lead to dire consequences for patients and the spread of diseases in the healthcare organization. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, research has shown that 55% of hospital staff do not wash their hands after they use the restroom. This is appalling at the hospital is supposed to be one of the most hygienic places and doctors and nurses should know better than anyone the importance of practicing good hygiene. Unhygienic practices like this and more are the reasons why hospitals are full of germs and can be quite deadly to patients. Now thanks to AI, companies like Microsoft, have come up with technology that can track and monitor how often hospital workers wash their hands. Using technology that measures foot traffic and how often the sink and soap dispensers are used it can be tracked and measured and the results so far have been less than desirable. This behavioral monitoring with penalties for those who default will help bring more awareness and will help stop these unhygienic practices and increase compliance with rules and regulations.



Eldercare

 

The baby boom generation is one of the most populated age groups and they are eventually going to become the elderly in the next decade or so thus increasing the demand and need for elderly medical care. Thus technology companies are focusing resources in coming up with inventions that cater to eldercare. This includes but is not limited to resources that monitor seniors in their homes, monitor their heart rates and other health variables and also monitor their homes in case they have a home accident like falling. The monitors can also be further advanced to track things like their temperature and also the temperature and atmosphere of their house or living space.

 

AI and Healthcare Wearable Devices

 

Wearable devices have become so mainstream now they are hardly seen as new technology. Howbeit there is still being developed upon to make them more efficient and to expand their use. As patients show more interest in taking more control of their health and in being more engaged, wearable devices have become a mainstay in how patients can do both things. Consumer wearables can now connect patients with their doctors directly and patient data can be collected and monitored in real time.

 

AI and Healthcare 3D Printing

 

3D printing is expanding in usefulness and in possibilities. The advancement of 3D printing would mean that hospitals and research facilities will be able to print items like organs and tissue. It doesn’t stop there. Things like drug, limbs, and other healthcare items would be able to be made using 3D printing technology. 3D printed medication has been seen to be easier to dissolve and take which makes it more appealing to patients who don’t like swallowing medication and also to children. Also, 3D printing can be used for medical imaging which gives doctors a more detailed understanding of patients bodies and their illness. It can also be used for a more detailed diagnosis.



Regulations in AI and Healthcare

 

One of the major problems and roadblocks to entry into the healthcare industry is being able to navigate the complicated system of rules and regulations. The same goes for technology companies trying to enter into space. There are both legal and medical requirements that need to be met in order for their technology to be approved for use in public health. For example, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates that patient data must be kept secure at all times regardless of if it’s being used, created, or shared with other healthcare organizations. Thus any healthcare research being carried out by people in the industry or people in the technology industry must first meet all HIPAA compliance rules.