Artificial intelligence is making the lives of patients, doctors and hospital administrators easier by accomplishing tasks that are usually performed by humans, but in a fraction of time and cost.
AI in healthcare is one of the world's highest-growth industries. The industry valued at around $600 million in 2014, but thanks to continual advances in the technology, it's projected to reach a staggering $150 billion by 2026.
From finding new links between genetic codes to surgery-assisting robots, artificial intelligence is re-writing the modern definition of healthcare with machines that can predict, comprehend, learn and act.
Efficiently Diagnose and Reduce Error
In 2015, misdiagnosing illness and medical error shockingly accounted for 10% of all US deaths. The promise of improving the diagnostic process is one of the most exciting AI applications in healthcare.
Incomplete medical histories and large case loads that prevent spending a lot of time with each patient can lead to deadly errors. Artificial intelligence has the ability to predict and diagnose disease at a better rate than most medical professionals. One study demonstrated that an AI model, using algorithms and deep learning, diagnosed breast cancer at a better rate than 11 pathologists.
From diagnosing cancer to infections, these four examples show how AI is doing wonders to reduce errors and save lives.
Location: Cambridge, Mass.
How it's using AI in healthcare: PathAI is developing machine learning technology to assist pathologists in making more accurate diagnoses.
As of now, the company’s main goals are to reduce the error in cancer diagnosis and to develop methods that provide individualized medical treatment.
PathAI has worked with drug developers like Bristol-Myers Squibb and organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to expand its AI technology into other healthcare industries.
Location: San Francisco
How it's using AI in healthcare: Freenome is using AI in screenings, diagnostic tests and blood work to test for cancer.
The company’s AI can recognize disease-associated patterns to detect cancer earlier than traditional methods. By deploying AI at general screenings, Freenome can catch cancer in its earliest stages and develop new, innovative cancer treatments as it learns more about the disease.
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
How it's using AI in healthcare: Harvard University’s teaching hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is using artificial intelligence to diagnose potentially deadly blood diseases at a very early stage.
Doctors are using AI-enhanced microscopes to scan for harmful bacterias, like E. coli and staphylococcus, in blood samples at a faster rate than traditional practices. The scientists used 25,000 images of blood samples to teach the machines how to search for bacteria. The machines then learned how to identify and predict harmful bacteria in blood with 95% accuracy.
Zebra Medical Vision
Location: Shefayim, Israel
How it's using AI in healthcare: Zebra Medical Vision provides radiologists with an AI-enabled assistant that receives imaging scans and automatically analyzes them for myriad clinical findings that it has studied. The findings are passed onto radiologists, who take the assistant’s reports into consideration when making a diagnosis.
Zebra’s AI is helping relieve the massive workload radiologists usually receive in a way that doesn’t sacrifice quality.
Developing New Medicines
The drug development industry is bogged down by skyrocketing development costs and research that takes thousands of man hours. It costs about $2.6 billion to put each drug through clinical trials, and only 10% of those medicines are successfully brought to market. Due to breakthroughs in technology, biopharmaceutical companies are quickly taking notice of the efficiency, accuracy and knowledge that AI can provide.
One of the biggest AI breakthroughs in drug development came in 2007 when researchers tasked a robot named Adam with researching functions of yeast. Adam scoured billions of data points in public databases to hypothesize about the functions of 19 genes within yeast, predicting 9 new and accurate hypotheses.
Adam’s robot friend, Eve, discovered triclosan, a common ingredient in toothpaste, can combat malaria-based parasites. This breakthrough in technology shows how AI has the ability to analyze, predict, and prove hypotheses in medicine quicker and at a substantially lower cost than relying on humans alone.
Here are three examples of companies relying on AI to develop the next wave of transformational medicines.
Location: San Francisco
How it's using AI in healthcare: Atomwise is using AI to tackle some of the biggest diseases today, including Ebola and multiple sclerosis.
The company developed a neural network called AtomNet, which helps in bioactivity prediction and identifying characteristics of patients for clinical trials. Because Atomwise’s AI technology screens between 10 and 20 million genetic compounds a day, the software can deliver results 100 times faster than traditional pharmaceutical companies.
How it's using AI in healthcare: Deep Genomic’s AI platform helps researchers find candidates for developmental drugs related to neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders.
Finding the right candidates during a drug's development has statistically raised the chances of successfully passing clinical trials, while also decreasing time and cost to market.
Deep Genomics is also working on “Project Saturn,” which analyzes over 69 billion different cell compounds and provides researchers with feedback.
How it's using AI in healthcare: The primary goal of BenevolentAI is to get the right treatment to the right patients at the right time by using artificial intelligence to produce a better target selection and provide previously undiscovered insights through deep learning.
BenevolentAI is working with major pharmaceutical groups to license drugs, while also partnering with charities to develop easily transportable medicines for rare diseases.
Streamlining Patient Experience
In the healthcare industry, time is money. Efficiently providing a seamless patient experience allows hospitals, clinics and physicians treat more patients on a daily basis.
US hospitals saw more than 35 million patients in 2016, each with different ailments, insurance coverage and conditions that factor into providing service. A 2016 study of 35,000 physician reviews revealed 96% of patient complaints are about lack of customer service, confusion over paperwork and negative front desk experiences.
New innovations in AI healthcare technology are streamlining the patient experience, helping hospital staff process millions, if not billions of data points, faster and more efficiently. We've rounded up three examples of how AI is helping healthcare facilities better manage patient flow.
Location: San Francisco, California
How it's using AI in healthcare: CloudMedX uses machine learning to generate insights for improving patient journeys throughout the healthcare system.
The company’s technology helps hospitals and clinics manage patient data, clinical history and payment information by using predictive analytics to intervene at critical junctures in the patient care experience. Healthcare providers can use these insights to efficiently move patients through the system without any of the traditional confusion.
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
How it's using AI in healthcare: The Cleveland Clinic teamed up with IBM to infuse its IT capabilities with artificial intelligence.
The world-renowned hospital is using AI to gather information on trillions of administrative and health record data points to streamline the patient experience. This marriage of AI and data is helping the Cleveland Clinic personalize healthcare plans on an individual basis.
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
How it's using AI in healthcare: Johns Hopkins Hospital recently announced a partnership with GE to use predictive AI techniques to improve the efficiency of patient operational flow.
A task force, augmented with artificial intelligence, quickly prioritized hospital activity for the benefit of all patients. Since implementing the program, the facility has seen a 60% improvement in its ability to admit patients and a 21% increase in patient discharges before noon, resulting in a faster, more positive patient experience.
Mine and Manage Medical Data
Healthcare is widely considered one of the next big data frontiers to tame. Highly valuable information can sometimes get lost among the forest of trillions of data points, losing the industry around $100 billion a year. Additionally, the inability to connect important data points is slows the development of new drugs, preventative medicine and proper diagnosis.
Many in healthcare are turning to artificial intelligence as way to stop the data hemorrhaging. The technology breaks down data silos and connects in minutes information that used to take years to process.
Here are three examples of AI companies helping the healthcare industry stay afloat in an ocean of data.
Location: Armonk, N.Y.
How it's using AI in healthcare: When IBM’s Watson isn’t competing on Jeopardy!, it's helping healthcare professionals harness their data to optimize hospital efficiency, better engage with patients and improve treatment.
Watson is currently applying its skills to everything from developing personalized health plans to interpreting genetic testing results and catching early signs of disease.
Google DeepMind Health
How it's using AI in healthcare: Google’s DeepMind Health AI software is being used by hospitals all over the world to help move patients from testing to treatment more efficiently.
The DeepMind Health program notifies doctors when a patient’s health deteriorates and can even help in the diagnosis of ailments by combing its massive dataset for comparable symptoms. By collecting symptoms of a patient and inputting them into the DeepMind platform, doctors can diagnose quickly and more effectively.
Location: Shenzhen, China
How it's using AI in healthcare: ICarbonX is using AI and big data to look more closely at human life characteristics in a way they describe as “digital life."
By analyzing the health and actions of human beings in a “carbon cloud," the company hopes its big data will become so powerful that it can manage all aspects of health. ICarbonX believes its technology can gather enough data to better classify symptoms, develop treatment options and get people healthier.
Popularity in robot-assisted surgery is skyrocketing. Hospitals are using robots to help with everything from minimally-invasive procedures to open heart surgery. According to the Mayo Clinic, robots help doctors perform complex procedures with a precision, flexibility and control that goes beyond human capabilities.
Robots equipped with cameras, mechanical arms and surgical instruments augment the experience, skill and knowledge of doctors to create a new kind of surgery. Surgeons control the mechanical arms while seated at a computer console while the robot gives the doctor a three dimensional, magnified view of the surgical site that surgeons could not get from relying on their eyes alone. The surgeon then leads other team members who work closely with the robot through the entire operation.
Robot-assisted surgeries have led to fewer surgery-related complications, less pain and a quicker recovery time. Take a look at four examples of how robots are shaping the future of surgery.
Location: San Francisco
How it's using AI in healthcare: Intuitive’s da Vinci platforms have pioneered the robotic surgery industry. Being the first robotic surgery assistant approved by the FDA over 18 years ago, the surgical machines feature cameras, robotic arms and surgical tools to aide in minimally invasive procedures.
The da Vinci platform is constantly taking in information and providing analytics to surgeons to improve future surgeries. So far, da Vinci has assisted in over five million operations.
Carnegie Mellon University
Location: Pittsburgh, Penn.
How it's using AI in healthcare: The robotics department at Carnegie Mellon University has developed Heartlander, a miniature mobile robot designed to facilitate therapy on the heart.
Under a physician’s control, the robot enters the chest through a small incision, navigates to certain locations of the heart by itself, adheres to the surface of the heart and administers therapy. The tiny robot offers a better precision and safer option than traditional heart therapy procedures.
Location: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
How it's using AI in healthcare: MicroSure’s robots help surgeons overcome their human physical limitations.
The company has developed a motion stabilizer system for doctors to use, during the surgical procedure that improves performance and precision. Currently, MicroSure has eight micro-surgical operations approved for procedures on the lymphatic system.
Location: Caesarea, Israel
How it's using AI in healthcare: Mazor Robotics has a platform of robotics and AI tools that assist in spinal surgeries.
Surgeons use the company’s 3D tools to visualize their surgical plans, read images taken by AI that recognize anatomical features, and use the robotics technology to ensure a stable and precise spinal operation.
Images via Shutterstock, social media and screenshots of company web pages.