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The health system will not be able to manage without artificial intelligence in the medium term, says many recent doctors. In order for technology to benefit people, however, frameworks have to be defined – and rules for quality assurance are required. What does the generic term “artificial intelligence” mean for you? Let’s say: anything that can be used to model human cognitive abilities. This includes speech recognition, the recognition of patterns, images and emotions, but also motor intelligence, i.e. the ability to see, grip and move something like a robot does. Since there is no generally applicable definition, the boundaries are not sharp. What advantages can artificial intelligence offer in the health sector? In image recognition, it is already clear that systems with artificial intelligence are faster than humans and make fewer mistakes. It could help doctors in neurology and cardiology. Doctors with an interest in business and technology could find new roles soon – it is important to take a look at the job board for cardiologists to know more.
So, it could improve the quality of the diagnosis?
Diagnosis is also important for patients with rare diseases, who today often have to go through an odyssey before they meet a doctor who can interpret the symptoms correctly. With AI systems, the entire current medical knowledge would be available in every family doctor’s practice. There, what the AI delivers could be used like a doctor’s second opinion. In a few years we will have something like this and it will be considered malpractice in court if a doctor does not use this option. Another point is the shortage of doctors, especially in rural areas so AI could take over and give people better chances of better health.
Which tasks of a doctor could AI take on?
A device with AI that measures parameters non-invasively could give a patient information about their state of health, i.e. either to stay calm if harmless symptoms occur or recommend that they see a doctor soon if it seems more urgent. That would not only relieve the practices, but also the emergency rooms in the hospitals.
Is it trustworthy?
If we want to use artificial intelligence in healthcare, we have to ensure its quality – even if we cannot understand the way in which the system came to the result. The technology is still so new that there are no established rules for quality assurance. Anyone who has an idea conducts a study and compares it with the conclusions of four, ten or more doctors, whatever they like. However, the industry would need uniform criteria with which the performance is checked. A kind of specialist examination for systems with artificial intelligence would be a suitable way to ensure quality and that is something that some businesses are already looking into for 2021 and beyond.
How will it change by 2030?
In imaging in particular, there will be a lot more artificial intelligence. Consumer interest in small, handy devices that measure and evaluate health data will grow and therefore a new industry altogether to aid medicine globally.
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