Can Artificial Intelligence Help Overworked Doctors?

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There is no single solution that can solve all the problems plaguing the healthcare industry right now. But there is something that can be done to help doctors become more efficient and less overwhelmed with their day-to-day responsibilities. That relief is AI technology.

As we speak, developers around the world are addressing the challenges of the healthcare industry by creating intelligent solutions meant to offload much of the workload of doctors and healthcare practitioners. Solving the workload problem, in the short term at least, involves finding better and more practical ways to treat patients and give them quality service. And AI technology can do exactly that.

What is artificial intelligence?

AI technology is a form of machine learning. And, in fact, it’s not entirely different from what search engines like Google and Bing use in their algorithms. With machine learning AI, the system can be trained to detect certain patterns in large volumes of data.

AI technology can, with the right system and the right approach, play a significant role in helping doctors save time and energy while dealing with their daily tasks. As a matter of fact, AI technology is already doing wonders in other parts of the healthcare industry, for example by helping to improve the workflow of radiologists. Before AI technology, radiologists had to sift through books and stacks of images to manually find the best match for the x-ray image they were trying to interpret. However, with AI, hospitals and diagnostic centres are now able to automatically detect the most suitable match. The technology has greatly reduced the time and energy traditionally spent by radiologists on these processes.

How can AI technology help doctors?

  1. AI can minimize the time doctors spend on administrative tasks.

We have already mentioned how repetitive administrative tasks can take up a huge chunk of an average doctor’s day. By implementing a good AI solution, most of that burden will be removed from the doctor, allowing them to spend more quality time with patients.

An AI technology that is specifically designed for tackling administrative tasks is known as Natural Language Processing, or NLP. This type of AI focuses on identifying and making sense of large, unstructured healthcare data sets. This can include things such as handwritten notes, voice transcripts, EKG images, descriptions of symptoms, and more.

  1. AI can provide more efficient appointment scheduling for doctors and patients.

Having an AI system that is capable of facilitating appointments for doctors and patients can reduce the tediousness and struggle of scheduling appointments for hundreds of patients. And for patients, the system will make it more convenient for them to book appointments with their physician.

Additionally, a number of healthcare organizations are already using AI-based scheduling software to manage the booking process – and with great results. Typically, this includes features such as automatic appointment reminders, payment processing, scheduling, and even medical adherence platforms for better patient outcomes.

  1. AI technology can help anticipate the needs of doctors and patients.

Every patient has different healthcare needs. And the perhaps most challenging job for a physician is to anticipate the varying needs of each patient. With a good AI solution, the doctor can instantly retrieve the electronic health record (EHR) of the patient currently in their care, providing all the necessary information they need to properly address the healthcare needs of the patient. Additionally, machine learning tools and chat bots can help patient self-assessment, and it can also contribute to the collection and organization of healthcare data.

  1. AI systems can minimize human errors and mistakes.

Discrepancies and human errors, especially in healthcare data entry, is something that doctors can’t afford to make. Luckily, AI can definitely step up as a smart machine learning partner.

A good doctor must have general information about each of their patient’s medical history, including pre-existing conditions and risk factors that may exacerbate possible treatments. On top of that, the physician is expected to have extensive knowledge of diseases and various conditions.

Doctors and other healthcare professionals have a lot of responsibilities. And even with years of training under their belt, a few mistakes are unfortunately bound to happen. AI technology can mitigate some of the discrepancies and errors that might occur. Safe to say, we’re excited to see what the future will bring for the healthcare industry.