The ongoing “AI arms race” has resulted in six months of rapid developments, and it is already had a profound effect on the healthcare industry.
- As we previously reported, high-speed data sharing, artificial intelligence (AI), and collaborative efforts between specialists across the world are changing the rate of new advancements in treatments and therapies.
- The U.S. Defense Department announced on April 28 that it had developed a wearable device that uses predictive AI algorithms to predict the onset of illnesses.
- The news comes after March’s announcement that the University of Toronto and Insilico Medicine have been able to use AI software was able to discover a potential cancer treatment for the most common form of liver cancer.
Why It’s Important
AI is already changing the world, and it is only going to change more rapidly over time as the applicability and demand for solutions become more readily apparent in the coming decades. One area that stands to benefit fully from the technology is preventative medicine, with emerging solutions that can catch and flag early indicators for serious illnesses and help patients develop preemptive treatment strategies. Such technologies could save the medical system billions of dollars.
Al Pirnia is an author, wellness expert, and the CEO of Ever Health Inc. He tells Leaders Media that AI can be a powerful tool for patients who want to be proactive in preventing disease and addressing the growing issues in the medical system.
“American society needs to become proactive with its health; it is the only solution to our current healthcare crisis. Nearly 20% of the GDP is spent on healthcare. Most of our diseases are preventable, but our system is set up to defer to disease management. It is a prescription for financial collapse. A third of seniors are on five or more medications. 40% of the population is diabetic or prediabetic, and as many as 50% of Americans are going to be diagnosed with cancer. This will be a disaster that will bankrupt America,” he says.
Pirnia says that AI provides a very potent method for preventative solutions. Unlike other AI solutions, the negative ramifications are somewhat limited, and the proliferation of the technology could see new solutions becoming available as soon as next year. Given that most diseases are preventable, it could prove to be a vital tool in addressing cardiac and cancer health in the U.S.
“A pre-diabetic is very easy to reverse their condition, but it requires people to apply themselves. AI can be a tool for hour-by-hour directions, insights, and answers to stay on track. There’s also predicting diseases or conditions like heart attacks. AI and deep learning can analyze cardiac MRI images and predict the chance of sudden cardiac death in patients over 10 years,” he says.
Structural issues within the U.S. healthcare system could slow the process of AI integration down. The health insurance industry tends towards disease management solutions rather than preventative medicine, which means that many AI preventative solutions may be outside of the scope of average healthcare plans for the immediate future.
“There are always early adopters, and then there are two who join the process later as it becomes more prevalent. In my understanding, the early adopters are integrative practitioners outside of the health insurance model—usually cash-based clinics—out there looking for the latest and greatest technologies to bring to their patients because that is what they’re willing to pay for,” says Pirnia.