By Mark Fewster, Chief Product Officer at Radar Healthcare.
AI – or Artificial Intelligence – is becoming an increasingly discussed and debated topic in our everyday lives, as advancements in modern technology continues to evolve substantially.
Anyone who regularly depends on Siri, Alexa or another speech recognition tool on their electronic devices can already class themselves as having benefited from the technology and its impact.
But how is AI becoming more prevalent in the field of healthcare?
And how can the pioneering work behind artificial intelligence benefit the kind of quality care patients are receiving with regards to their health and wellness?
What is AI?
In its simplest terms, artificial intelligence is any system that observes its environment and fulfils actions towards achieving set goals.
Computers and other machines mimic cognitive functions that humans demonstrate, and are able to learn, think, make decisions and take actions. It can be seen as the opposite of natural intelligence which is what humans and other animals display.
How can AI be used in Healthcare?
In healthcare, AI involves machines that are used to digest, analyse and act on existing health data, in order to help assist healthcare professionals make important clinical decisions.
The adoption of AI can already be seen prominently in such areas as diagnosis and treatment options and recommendations. It has the ability to analyse big data (complex, large data sets) to help make informed decisions ensuring a high quality of care is maintained.
AI is a collection of multiple technologies, most of which lend themselves to the healthcare industry. Two of the most notable are highlighted below:
- Machine Learning
One of the most common forms of AI, machine learning is when computer learning algorithms improve automatically through experience. It builds a model based on sample data, then makes predictions or decisions without being explicitly told to do so.
Deep learning is a form of machine learning which teaches computers to learn by example, which us humans naturally do every day. It is based on artificial neural networks inspired by the structure and function of the brain.
Examples of machine learning in the healthcare industry are precision medicine and improving patient care through learning from data.
- Natural language processing
All about the human language, natural language processing (NLP) includes speech recognition, text analysis, translation and other language goals.
In healthcare, NLP is primarily used in generating and classifying documentation and research. It can analyse unstructured notes in health records and help professionals create notes quicker with text-to-speech.
How can different types of healthcare organsations benefit from AI technology?
Radar healthcare uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver business intelligence on your data. It will spot trends in your data and ensure that actions are taken to help maintain patient safety.
For example, if your staff across various locations are reporting rising numbers of infection events, Radar Healthcare will detect this anomaly.
The software will then create an outbreak event, which triggers all associated processes and tasks without any time lag or manual intervention.
Some examples of AI being used in the NHS
Upon hearing the term AI, many may instantly fall into the trap of imagining overly-complicated technology and robotics.To an extent this is true, particularly when it comes to how tools like Google DeepMind automatically identify serious eye conditions within a matter of seconds, helping to prioritise patients that need to be treated first.
That being said, often in the NHS, artificial intelligence is used to help healthcare professionals behind the scenes.
Radar Healthcare’s award-winning system uses AI and machine learning to drive continuous improvement in a range of NHS care settings, including health and social care. It will recognise patterns or anomalies in an organisations data, and trigger action plans and tasks off the back of these so that a significantly reduced amount of manual intervention is needed from already busy staff members.
Many NHS Trusts are already using Radar Healthcare, including Somerset NHS FT, Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.