With the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI), the health care industry is witnessing a revolution like no other. AI has already begun to reshape the health care landscape, from diagnosis and treatment to patient empowerment. In this second of a three-part series, I’ll explore how AI is currently used in health care, its future potential and how it can empower patients and families to advocate for better care.
Current AI Use
Personalized treatment plans. AI can analyze your medical data and assist your health care team in creating personalized treatment plans; ask your doctor how they might be doing this now—and if not now, when. By considering your genetic makeup, medical history and lifestyle, AI can recommend the most effective therapies and medications, minimizing side effects and improving outcomes.
Therapy robots. “Tess” is a mental health chatbot that you can instant message via Facebook Messenger or text a phone number for help with panic attacks or depression. If you are a caregiver for a loved one, Tess is also designed to work with those who may need support but aren’t asking for help.
Personal health assistants. AI-driven personal health assistants such as “Renee” (www.renee.com) can remind patients of medication schedules, track their progress and provide guidance on managing chronic conditions.
Remote monitoring. Wearable devices and sensors connected to AI platforms continuously monitor patients’ vital signs and send real-time alerts to health care providers if abnormalities are detected, enabling early interventions. “Smartwatches” now have fall alerts and abnormal heart rhythm detectors, among other health alerts.
The potential applications of AI in health care are boundless, promising a future where medicine is not just curative but truly preventive! Here are a few glimpses into the future:
Future AI Use
Detect and diagnose Alzheimer’s. Using chatbots that analyze speech and text will enable earlier disease detection and treatment within the next 3-4 years.
Diagnosing heart valve disease by EKG. Yale School of Medicine has already developed a computer program (algorithm) to detect the narrowing of a heart valve from just an echocardiogram (EKG).
Beyond its technical capabilities, AI holds immense potential in empowering patients and their families to advocate for better care. By providing patients with understandable information to make informed decisions and predicting health risks to take preventive measures, patients and their families are able to effectively partner with their health care providers for a proactive approach.
The integration of AI into health care is transforming the industry in ways previously unimaginable. As with any new approach, there are risks and benefits. In my final article for the next edition, read about what you will need to be aware of with AI in health care and how to protect yourself and your family.
Dr. Porter is CEO and founder of MyHealth.MyAdvocate and advocates for patients, families, and caregivers. Immediate assistance is available by calling (760) 851.4116. www.myhealthmyadvocate.com.
Sources available upon request.