How Artificial Intelligence Could Make Us Healthier

22 February 2019
Muninder Reddy

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is something that was once relegated to sci-fi movies. You might even think that it still belongs there. Here’s a quick newsflash – AI is here, and you’ve probably been using it for a while now.

If you’ve ever run a search on Google or have used a virtual assistant like Alexa or Siri, you’ve already experienced the rewards that AI offers. True, it’s still early days, and there are improvements to be made. But we’ve made a great deal of progress in the AI world over the last decade or so.

What’s more exciting, though, are the potential future applications of the technology. What if your smart speakers could pick up that you had a cold just by hearing you coughing? Amazon has already patented an app that works through the Alexa virtual assistant.

Imagine having a “doctor” at your disposal who could run through millions of online files in seconds to deliver a more accurate diagnosis. With AI, you don’t have to imagine anymore. Researchers are working on AI programs that can assist doctors with diagnoses.

While it is true that you’ll still need a trained professional to analyze and interpret the results found online, AI can do a lot of the legwork. The doctor could input the patient’s symptoms, and the AI system could search through medical records and research studies to find the best possible match.

The system could then spit out recommendations to the doctor. This could be especially advantageous for those with conditions that are less common. AI comes with no preconceived notions and so will not dismiss a potential diagnosis out of hand.

When you combine this with the powerful search functions that can be built in, it will give the complete results of what a particular group of symptoms might mean. This, in turn, could mean that the doctor’s diagnosis will be a lot more accurate and rarer conditions will be picked up faster.

Imagine how much money it could save you. What if, instead of running off to see the doctor when you’re not well, you can input your symptoms into an app. The app could run through all potential illnesses and come up with a likely solution. It could advise you on when it’s essential to get professional care, and when self-help would be fine.

Overall, we’ve only started scratching the surface as far as AI is concerned. It will be a boon for the medical industry and our health for sure.