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Ways AI Helps both Patients and Employees in Healthcare

 Artificial intelligence, or AI, is an up-and-coming technology getting buzz from numerous industries, not least among them the healthcare field. It has taken time for AI to become affordable and accessible enough for a majority of providers to use it, but with recent developments in how AI can use healthcare software systems and other sources to help doctors refine techniques and reduce errors, the time has come for many patients and physicians to get excited about how AI can improve their medical care.

With access to more comprehensive databases, it is possible for AI to predict and diagnose diseases earlier than ever before, and with greater accuracy. Broadband internet access has improved around the world, as has patient records software, making it possible to instantly access more robust data than ever before. And now that advanced computing is more affordable, more providers and healthcare organizations should gain access to it, allowing them to implement AI as part of patient care even in locations where they may have been unable to do so in the past.

More uses for AI in healthcare include analyzing information from journals, textbooks and clinical practices to help reduce diagnostic and therapeutic errors for doctors. Not only does this improve accuracy of diagnoses and treatment recommendations, but in some cases – such as implants for hip or knee replacements – it could help avoid unnecessary patient suffering. With its ability to quickly comb through information and analyze it, AI can remove bottlenecks from doctors’ task lists. Improving accuracy in surgeries and other uses still being developed will make AI an even greater benefit for patients when used in the healthcare setting.

By using AI to sort through medical data collected by intensive care monitoring equipment, providers can benefit from early warnings of red flags to identify which patients are at risk for sepsis or other complications. In 2016, University of California San Francisco employed an AI-powered alert system that helped clinicians reduce the rate of deaths in the ICU by over 12 percent. The combination of data from patient records software and the vitals monitors can make AI a powerful tool for critical care.

While many companies are looking to AI as a way to increase productivity, their employees are concerned about how adopting these new technologies may make their job harder, or in some cases, replace them altogether. Research from Harvard Business Review found that if AI is deployed to create innovations to services and products rather than cut costs or substitute for labor, outcomes could lead to less stress for employees and have a positive effect on their welfare.

On that note, a good business practice would be to proactively manage the transition to deploying AI, so that employees have retraining, providing a huge upside for those affected. Additionally, AI tools can be used to improve employees’ wellbeing through health initiatives and communications. Wellness programs can use AI tools for personal training and other markers to improve high blood pressure or cholesterol, and other AI tools analyzing employee communications can provide insights on morale and even suggestions on ways to improve it.