Artificial Intelligence and the ability to automate different processes in our lives are fast changing how companies do their business and other aspects of our lives including healthcare.
Artificial Intelligence has already started taking bold steps in the medical industry with numerous applications driven by AI already in use. Without doubt AI in health care comes with a lot of advantages but the debate is now on if it can replace doctors. While many businesses that have adopted the use of AI now have reduced customer service agents with the machine doing most of the job, can the same thing happen in the healthcare sector? Can we have AI applications replace doctors?
One area in medicine where the influence of AI can be seen readily in cancer detection and radiology. So are we going to see radiologists being replaced by robots?
There are 3 main things that doctors do: diagnosis (finding out what is wrong with the patient), treatment (the plan and steps on helping them get better) and prognosis (the time they need before normality is restored). But all of these three tasks can now be done by artificial intelligence systems that employ deep learning, machine learning, time series forecasting, and natural language processing to do these accurately.
There are industry experts who provide help with essay writing and strongly believe that AI won’t displace doctors but will cause massive changes to the landscape of medicine. This argument is predicated upon the fact that human touch is needed in healthcare delivery.
In very difficult and life-changing situations, empathy is an important tool. That patient undergoing cancer diagnosis would want a human holding their hands and talking them through it. There is always a patient-doctor relationship that is extremely valuable to the patient. And that degree of human connection can never be replicated by a machine. It is this sort of connection that influences how well the patient feels, how well they stick to their treatment plan, and how well they will remember difficult times like that for a long time to come. It would be impossible for a machine to achieve all of these.
However, this argument does not acknowledge the fact that AI is massively threatening the job of human doctors.
While it is unlikely that there will be one machine that does it all in healthcare delivery, it is more likely that processes between one specialty are automated with different systems. Mental health assessment, early detection of eye diseases, identification of abnormal chest x-rays, diagnoses of pediatric diseases, analysis of lymph node slides, etc. are already some of the medical processes that are being automated. This has been an ongoing process for a while now and many literature reviews already make some things clear:
- AI technology becomes better and more accurate by the day. Something that is not true with human experts.
- AI can clearly explain its results.
- AI might be the only solution to provide the best possible healthcare system to the world’s population.
This third point makes a valid point of argument and makes the use of AI in health care a moral imperative. While it is possible for radiologists in the US to claim that they can’t be replaced by an AI system. The fact remains that most of the world’s population has never met a radiologist as they do not have access to one.
The northern hemisphere of the earth has a ratio of 25 MRI machines for every 1 million of the population. Whereas in the southern hemisphere and sub-Saharan Africa, there is just 1 MRI machine to serve up to 25 million people. Yet the population grows faster than it will take to train a doctor. This makes the use of AI a necessity in this case.
One industry expert, Vinod Khosla, a contributor at dissertation help and silicon valley investor, in his argument claims that by 2035, robots would have completely replaced human doctors. He also pointed out some facts to back up his claim.
- AI can evaluate a large number of data using its deep learning and machine learning to come up with accurate predictions and also propose the right interventions. This IT innovation allows one to create an analysis of large databases, such as laboratory data, claims, medical images, genetic data, and health record data, in a cost-effective manner.
- Most of the outcomes generated today are driven by machines because machines do not need to cross-check data to verify its accuracy. It just assumes that it’s accurate, reflecting its high quality and provide the right outcome accordingly.
- An issue is also the fact that many physicians make care choices and predictions without clear documentation as per data structure. They rather rely on assumptions and intuitions to identify the cause of a problem and then feed the details into a computer program. This has led to patients receiving treatments different from what the problem really is and that is not even represented in the data.
In his opinion, the robot doctors will ensure that with the right accessories, the patients receive treatments that are very accurate and also cost-effective, and not based on assumptions and intuitions.
Another expert, Eldon Richards, manager at best dissertation writing service and the chief technology officer at Recondo Technology also claims that AI now addresses many repetitive tasks that humans do normally. A doctor might not be able to attend to up to a million patients in their lifetime but this is a real possibility with robot doctors.
Many experts arguing in favor of artificial intelligence claims that it is a necessary tool for providing perspective, making diagnoses more accurate and bringing efficiency into therapies. They also claim that it will help hasten up the process of making decisions in the health industry and also make it less expensive. Other benefits that AI will bring into the health industry are the reduction of waiting time during appointments with the doctor robots performing the tasks repeatedly and also allowing the doctors to take their time with other patients.
While the debate is still ongoing as to whether AI will replace doctors in the health industry, it is noteworthy that some areas of healthcare are already automated to provide improved health care. Whether that will expand into other areas and take over the works of the doctors, we are yet to determine that. But it is definitely nice to see how this technological evolution changes things.