Artificial Intelligence- “The Magic Wand” of Modern Healthcare


Ray Kurzweil once said, “ When you talk to a human in 2035, you will be talking to someone that’s a combination of biological and non-biological intelligence.” The concept of Artificial Intelligence is concerning yet fascinating for the human race. On one hand the new prospects of advanced and effective facilities can be seen on the horizon; in contrary, it is raising several questions like, Is it dangerous? Will it replace thehuman race? However, the advancement of Artificial Intelligence in the healthcare will increase the efficiency and effectivity of the treatment for better. This article is an effort to give an insight of AI’s impact and influence on the healthcare.

Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Wearable Technology, Philips ipill, Tic Tac Pacemaker, Surgical Robots, Google Glass, i Knife

At a Glance

  • Introduction
  • History Of AI
  • Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare
  • Impact of AI on Healthcare
  • Recent Application of AI in different fields of healthcare
  • Future AI trends in Healthcare


Moles !!Small patchy lesions which forms because of the deposition of melanin pigment cells (melanocytes). An abnormal mole can be a form of melanoma. So how to determine the mole is cancerous or not? Well, in conventional method, the mole related ABCDE traits are mainly examined :

A= Asymmetry of the mole

B= Bordes of the mole

C= Color consistency of the mole

D= Diameter of the mole

E= Evolution manner of the mole

Then, if the dermatologist finds abnormalities related to any of these traits, a tissue biopsy is performed to confirm the melanoma cancer. But, with the advancing development and integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the healthcare, the new smart skin cancer detecting apps are coming into the picture.

One such app is SkinVision, useful for detection of melanoma cancer in early stages.

The SkinVision is based upon the theory of “Fractal Geometry” for analysis of the ABCDE traits of mole and prediction of melanoma based upon the picture of the moles. According to a study conducted, the accuracy percentage of this app for melanoma detection is 81%. Although, the efficiency of this type of apps is still under question, many studies are being conducted to evaluate its clinical application. Whatsoever, the importance of AI in healthcare is increasing day by day.

Artificial Intelligence or AI  is an innovative field of computational research which is focused to mimic the human intelligence and cognitive behavior. It has been an area of interest for many researchers and academicians, not forgetting the film-makers and fiction writers.

History Of AI

AI is surrounded with many fascinating mythological stories from Greek gods flying robots to Frankenstein’s Monster. However, the foundation of modern Artificial Intelligence research took place in a conference conducted by Dartmouth College, in the year 1956. In the same conference, the term ‘Artificial Intelligence’ was used for the first time by John McCarthy. From that time onwards small, yet effective development took place in the field of Artificial intelligence, but the major breakthrough came when the US government awarded a grant of 2.2 million to MIT University fo conducting research in the field of Machine-Aided Cognition.

With the advancement of time and technology, the AI Technology became part of the healthcare and has come a long way starting from Expert System-MYCIN for blood infection diagnosis to the age of Supercomputer Watson and still it has a long way to go.

Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

The emergence of new disease conditions demands the upgradation of the healthcare system. The upgradation of the healthcare is highly influenced by advanced technology like AI. The integration of the AI to the healthcare system is predicted to reduce the disease-diagnosis time and also may assist the physicians to increase the accuracy of treatment decision-making.

Impact of AI on Healthcare

In the healthcare system, the decision-making regarding disease treatment is very crucial for  facilitation of high quality healthcare service. The treatment decision-making is based upon several factors such as clinical knowledge, recent medical research information, and clinical reasoning. The treatment decision-making regarding rare diseases are the most intricate and requires a high level of referencing. In such cases, the expert-based systems can be very helpful for decision making.

The AI assistance will reduce the chances of treatment related error, and it can be a great source for referencing as it can store a large amount of information regarding medical literature. For example,  Modernizing Medicine, an AI based Knowledge platform is used by the physicians for referencing.However, usage of health care based AI platforms are not yet in full swing as a lot of concerns surrounds it.

The AI can provide assistance regarding different aspects of healthcare:

  • Data Storage: Storage of medical data including patient records, prescriptions, and even genomic records
  • Data Prediction: Prediction of disease pattern and risk analysis
  • Early Diagnosis: Smart detection apps for early diagnosis of diseases like cancer
  • Accurate Imaging: Fast and accurate imaging and automated interpretation of medical condition

Recent Application of AI in different fields of healthcare

Text Box: IBM’s Supercomputer Watson is now loaded with programs and information to do genome based mutation studies. It is getting programmed to identify the specific mutation and to provide personalized treatment plan for every cancer patient.1. AI for faster and effective drug development

Text Box: “Berg Pharma’s- AI algorithm identified a potent cancer drug (BPM31510), reducing the time and cost in drug discovery.”The increasing number of cancer cases led to the demand f new effective drugs. However, drug development is a lengthy and costly process, which highly affects the availability of useful drugs in the market for treatment. AI teaming up with researchers can “Bring a change” in the scenario. It may not only reduce the time for drug development but also may reduce the cost for its development.

Text Box: Atomwise’s- AI Technology is identifying new combination therapy for the brain cancer patients.AI researchers are now focusing on providing better treatment for cancer by aiding the development of personalized cancer drugs.

The AI based programs are also analyzing and predicting effective combination therapy for cancer patients from already approved drugs.

2. AI Influence on Wearable Technology

The healthcare market is flooded with different kinds of wearables for various purposes from measuring physical activities to recording body functioning parameters. But, now the focus has shifted towards not only providing data but also to identify the patterns and executing healthcare plans for the users.

With all these, some very interesting and unique wearables are making a market entry focusing on providing mental fitness.

Text Box: Moodmetric’s- Smart Ring keeps a check on user’s emotional status and alerts the used in case of heavy stress load.

The availability of AI based wearables not only help in the advancement of the healthcare system but also reduce the chances of diseases by keeping the people physically and mentally sound.

3. AI in novel drug discovery for rare diseases

Text Box: Atomwise’s- AI technology has predicted two drugs for Ebola Treatment, which now are undergoing FDA Priority Approval.For the treatment of rare infectious diseases, the urgency of effective Orphan Drugs is piling up.The main problem faced for drug discovery in case of infectious diseases are unavailability of sophisticated experimentation facility, high risk of infection, and prolonged drug discovery process.

But with AI Technology, the drug identification and effectivity prediction can shorten the wet lab discovery time leading to faster and efficient drug discovery.

4. AI, the “Helping Hand” for patients with neurodegenerative disorders

Text Box: The futuristic project of MRI data based machine learning system, developed by the MIT researchers is one such example of AI influence.Text Box: Researchers in the University of Washington are working on Assisted Cognition Project for developing assisting services to the patients with neurodegenerative disorders.Every year, around 6 million Americans are getting affected by neurodegenerative disorders. And most of the people getting affected belong to the age group of 60 and above. The biggest challenges faced by patients suffering from neurodegenerative disorders are the loss of memory and cognition abilities.  AI based assistance systems may provide support to the patients to lead a better life.

The Artificial Intelligence Technology may also help in the development of new effective drugs for neurodegenerative disorders in near future.

5. AI in early diagnosis of skin cancer

The early diagnosis of diseases is a “Good News” especially in case of skin cancers as the chances of getting cured increases by 30%. However, early diagnosis is not an “easy job”! The new AI Technology coming into the diagnostics can make the early diagnosis of skin cancer a reality! Several, healthcare startups came up with innovative AI based skin cancer diagnosis apps. Some examples include DoctorMole, MySkinPal, CellScope, SkinVision etc.

However, the efficiency of these apps are a matter of concern and with the increasing research studies and advancement of technology these concerns can be omitted from AI Technology based apps and services.

6. AI assistance in drug response prediction

The varied drug response of patients with a similar condition to a same drug is a “matter of concern”. In case of cancer patients, varied drug response is the prime cause of unresponsive treatment. According to a research article published in Molecular Oncology, the researchers used AI Technology for the prediction of drug response of two drugs in patients with breast cancer.

Artificial Intelligence Technology not only can predict the drug response of patient but also may help in implementing personalized medicine for the cure.

7. AI Technology in preventing medication non adherence

According to health statistics, more than two million people are getting seriously affected due to medication non adherence. Medication non adherence is a serious setback for the healthcare system. Integration of AI in healthcare for backing medication adherence can be a “Smart Step”.

With the advancement of AI technology many AI medication adherence products are making debut in the market.

Table 1: New AI based medication adherence products

Product NameProduct Type
AdheretechAI based cutting-edge pill bottles
Clever CapAI based medication cap for bottles
I RememberAI based medication cap integrated with voice remainder system and synched with Smartphone
Ai cureAI based mobile healthcare Technology
Vitality Glow CapPill bottles connected to internet and integrated alerts and remainder systems
uBoxAi based pill box integrated with remainder system
BiodoseDose tracking tray

All these AI applications in healthcare, not only substantiate the evidence for AI influence but arises a “New hope” in the patients.

Table 2: Recent AI based Healthcare products in use

Company NameProductProduct Type
  Agilent Technologies  AI based ECG deviceIncrease the precision level of acute cardiac ischemia (ACI) detection
Intelligent Medical Imaging, Inc.Micro21 microscopy workstationUtilizes neural networks for accurate blood analysis
  Enlitic Inc.AI based malignant cancer diagnostic softwareMalignant tumor diagnosis with more accuracy
Neuromedical Systems, Inc.AI based cancer diagnostic toolPrecise cancer tissue screening
ATL Ultrasound, Inc.AI based ultrasound devicesImaging cardiac tissues with more precision

Future AI trends in Healthcare

Some of the most futuristic AI based project and trends that can ingress the healthcare sector

1. Precise Drug Delivery

Phillips ipill is the perfect illustration of AI-mediated precise drug delivery. ThePhilips research group has developed a futuristic AI Technology based drug delivery capsule fitted with a microscopic computer, transmitters, and biosensors. The ipill is a prototype focusing in treatment of gastrointestinal problems by delivering drugs at precise location at the rate determined by the physician.

2. Tic Tac sized pacemaker

The medical device manufacturing giant Medtronic is conducting a revolutionary project of developing pacemaker of “Tic Tac” size. The aim behind the development of the pacemaker is to exclude the need of the invasive surgery for pacemaker insertion. The pacemaker insertion can be easily performed by catheters. However, this project is under development and according to Medtronic officials, most of the pacemaker’s parts are already developed and it can be turned into a reality soon.

3. AI Surgical Robots

The Da Vinci device developed by Imperial College London for assisting in general operation is the “New Beginning” of robotic surgery. In near future, the fully automated robotic surgery will be reality.

The infotech giant Google and the healthcare company Johnson & Johnson has teamed up together to develop AI based surgical robots. According to researchers, robot assisted surgeries will reduce the chances of wounds and blood loss. The robotic assistance will make the all the complex surgeries easy, precise and minimally invasive.

Figure 2: Annual report of Da Vinci robotic surgery performed in 2012

4. “Sweet Smart” contact Lens

The super smart Google glass is perfect example of AI benefit. Monitoring glucose level on regular basis is very crucial yet daunting task for diabetics. Now, the life science division of Google has developed prototype of a biosensor integrated contact lenses that can measure the glucose level in the tears and alert the patients about the glucose level with the help of Led system.

5. i Knife

The cool surgical knife by researcher from Imperial College London is focused on making a surgical cut with minimal loss of blood as it applies the same principle followed by an electric current. It is attached to a mass spectrometer for onsite biopsy of the tumor tissue to determine the malignancy.

Future is Unknown, but definitely Better with AI

The “Future is Unknown” but we can make it better by making AI an integral part of healthcare. AI seems to be the key to all complex problems in medicine. The emergence of new life-threatening diseases is worrisome! The healthcare system is facing several challenges from high expenses to lack of effective treatment for life-threatening diseases like cancer, Ebola, and Swine Flu etc. With AI, the healthcare industry can “clear away” these problems and worries. The time is not too far when a disease risk can be predicted accurately, diagnosis of diseases can be performed in seconds, and treatment plans can be customized based on patient’s genetic makeup!


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