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HomeLifestyleHealthCare to consult Dr AI? | Health

Care to consult Dr AI? | Health

Our eyes are windows to the heart. A new algorithm is relying on this age old adage. According to a research published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, this algorithm can predict the cardiovascular diseases based on factors such as age, gender, blood pressure and smoking status. This AI technique could eliminate the need to have a long series of conventional tests and scans often required to detect cardiovascular risks. Similarly, smartwatches may detect Parkinson’s up to 7 years before symptoms appear. The accelerometer data of smartwatches when shrared with AI can predict the development of Parkinson’s. Not just this, there could be AI doctors soon. Developed by Google, the medical AI chatbot, Med-PaLM 2 is trained on a curated set of medical expert demonstrations to improve healthcare conversation capabilities. The idea is to help countries with limited access to doctors. Healthcare AI is going to revolutionise the industry like never before across the world. To know its impact on health care workers and patients, we speak to experts:

This AI technique could eliminate the need to have a long series of conventional tests and scans. (Photo: Shutterstock)
This AI technique could eliminate the need to have a long series of conventional tests and scans. (Photo: Shutterstock)

AI in India

Closer home, health sector is already using AI to felicitate better services. “We use AI to analyse our extensive food database, enabling personalised nutrition recommendations. Our programs have shown promising results in managing conditions like diabetes and obesity. Within diabetes, we created a tool for analysing the impact of various foods on different people- this tool called Personalised Glycemic Response Engine (PGR Engine). Using CGM sensors and the our food database, we realised that the blood sugar rise in people varies for the same foods, so why give everyone the same diet plan. We are able to bring down blood sugars by almost 30% in 3 months without any strict dieting. The clinical results have been amazing with 95% of the people achieving very good diabetes control lowering their HbA1c, fasting and post meal blood sugars and also losing weight in the process,” says Arbinder Singal, co-founder, Fitterfly, a HealthTech company.

Another is AI-based clinical technology, Augnito,offers mutiple AI tools. “We offer Spectra, a fast and easy speech-to-text solution that captures patient notes in seconds to increases productivity and improves patient care. Voice Services for a more efficient, voice-driven workflow and Maya, a voice AI powered OPD (Outpatient Department) assistant for healthcare professionals,” says the co-founder Rustom Lawyer. In the last 3 years, they have integrated its solutions in over 375 hospitals, across more than 25 countries including India.

The impact on healthcare industry

Artificial Intelligence (AI) application span from diagnostics to personalized treatment plans, research, and administrative tasks. “It can support healthcare professionals by reducing their workload through automation of administrative tasks, enabling them to focus more on patient care. AI can assist in complex decision-making, offering treatment suggestions based on extensive medical knowledge and data analysis. However, it may also require doctors to adapt to working alongside AI systems and continuously update their skills,” says Dr Aashish Chaudhry, Managing Director, Aakash Healthcare who is utilizing AI-powered diagnostic tools to aid in interpreting medical images, analyzing patient data to identify trends and patterns, and accessing medical databases for evidence-based decision-making. “The results have been promising, with AI helping me make more accurate diagnoses, streamline workflows, and provide more personalized care to my patients. However, it’s essential to validate and verify AI-generated information and consider it as an adjunct to clinical expertise rather than a replacement,” says Chaudhry.

Benefits for patients

AI-powered technologies can enable faster and more accurate diagnoses, reducing the need for multiple tests and potentially lowering healthcare costs. By facilitating personalized treatment plans, AI can improve patient outcomes and enhance overall healthcare quality. Additionally, AI-driven telemedicine and remote monitoring systems can provide greater access to healthcare services, particularly for individuals in remote areas. This has the potential to democratize healthcare by making it more accessible, efficient, and patient-centric, ultimately improving the overall healthcare experience for the common man and promoting better health outcomes.

Can AI ever replace doctors?

Technology always has two faces.  Amongst the doctors and healthcare professionals, there is a constant fear – is AI going to replace doctors and healthcare professionals? “That is certainly not true as healthcare needs human touch, in 21st century even more than ever,” says Ammar Jagirdar, Head of X labs, Fitterfly. Also, there are concerns regarding data privacy and security, potential biases in AI algorithms, and the ethical implications such as lack of transparency or ‘black box’ problem in AI decision-making, and the need for new regulations to manage these advanced technologies can’t be ignored. Another challenge is also to have AI systems in healthcare to have a level of empathy like humans (or even better) to help the people who are going through serious conditions. It is crucial to strike a balance between AI integration and human expertise.

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