Tech PLUS Doctors,  Not Tech Minus Doctors

by Datalytic Solutions on December 10, 2017
Tech PLUS Doctors,  Not Tech Minus Doctors

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has long been a focal point of pop culture. Movies, TV shows, and books have reveled both in amazement and in fear at the possibilities AI might bestow on us. We are amazed at how robots can help keep our homes clean (see Roomba), but we fear AI’s impact on jobs and the economy. We have all seen the self-checkout aisles in the grocery store or have heard about factories using more robots and fewer humans. But what about medicine? Some doctors have begun to worry about the day they might be replaced. Should we all begin to wonder, or possibly fear, about the day we make an appointment with a machine instead of a human being?

AI’s Role In Healthcare

To begin to answer that question, we need to examine the ways in which artificial intelligence may fit into healthcare:

  • Data and Computing: Few places create more data and information than medical facilities. Patient records, test results, accounting--the list goes on and on. AI can help sort through all the data to discover unseen connections and help with everything from patient care to operations.
  • Early Diagnosis: Advances in technology help doctors diagnose diseases sooner so they can administer life-saving treatments earlier.
  • Better Patient Care: Aside from the aforementioned life-saving treatments, AI can provide a more positive experience to patients by keeping their records in order, clearing up billing issues, and even by alerting doctors when a patient has not taken their medication.
  • Smoother Operation: From billing to patient intake to actual patient care, AI can help hospitals and doctors offices operate more smoothly and with fewer errors.
  • More R&D: The ability to communicate and share more ideas than ever before means that we can innovate more than ever before, which in turn leads to further advances in healthcare.

Missing The Human Element

By now you can see the vast impact technology can have in the medical industry. As amazing as this all is, technology does have its limitations. Computers only do what they are told and look at data in a very narrow way. In contrast, human beings are good at creatively reevaluating situations in novel ways and thinking holistically, i.e., taking into account the entire situation before making a decision. Humans can also provide a level of comfort and empathy to their patience that robots and data are incapable of doing.

There is no telling when computers will reach humans in terms of emotional support and critical thinking, but most serious AI practitioners believe that point is decades away. In the meantime, it is best we find ways to use the advances in technology to augment and improve the knowledge, skills, and experience of the doctors. Datalytic Solutions strives to develop new and innovative ways to help doctors and hospitals identify the best way they can use the technology available to improve how they provide care to their patients and how they operate their business.