Revolutionising healthcare delivery The promise of AI and Machine Learning: Vikram Thaploo, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited

Vikram Thaploo

The dawn of the 21st century has ushered in a remarkable era of transformative technologies, and among them, Artificial Intelligence (AI) stands out as a major catalyst for societal advancement. It is widely acknowledged that AI, along with its associated services and platforms, holds the power to revolutionise global productivity, work dynamics, and lifestyles while creating substantial wealth.

For instance, McKinsey predicts that by 2030, AI could contribute up to $13 trillion to the global economy. However, the influence of AI extends beyond traditional business and technology sectors. One area poised to benefit greatly from AI’s capabilities is healthcare. The applications of Machine Learning (ML) in healthcare are diverse and promising, particularly due to its proficiency in handling complex data. With the exponential growth of data in the healthcare industry, often stored in unstructured formats such as Electronic Health Records (EHRs), Machine Learning, coupled with natural language processing, enables the transformation of this data into structured sets. This empowers healthcare professionals to extract actionable insights promptly.

Telemedicine has also experienced significant advancements due to machine learning. Companies specialising in machine learning are exploring ways to streamline workflows by efficiently organising and delivering patient information to doctors during telemedicine sessions. This empowers healthcare providers to capture relevant information during virtual visits, enhancing the overall patient experience.

Moreover, the potential of these technologies goes beyond individual cases and has the capacity to enhance automation and intelligent decision-making processes in primary, tertiary, and public healthcare systems. This transformative power holds the promise of significantly improving the quality of life for billions of people worldwide.

Different ways AI and ML are transforming the healthcare landscape

Enhance Diagnostics

Examining symptoms, proposing individualised treatment options, and forecasting potential risks The implementation of AI technology in the healthcare sector has the potential to revolutionise patient care by aiding healthcare professionals in diagnosing conditions, suggesting personalised treatment plans, predicting risks, and identifying abnormal results. The integration of intelligent symptom checkers has already gained traction among healthcare providers and organisations. These machine learning-based tools engage patients in a series of targeted questions regarding their symptoms, enabling the system to provide appropriate guidance on seeking further medical care.

Furthermore, AI technology holds the capability to elevate precision medicine to unprecedented heights. By synthesizing vast amounts of data, including genetic information, molecular and cellular analyses, and lifestyle factors, deep learning models can generate valuable insights and conclusions. This enables healthcare providers to make more informed decisions and offers personalised treatment approaches based on the individual’s unique needs.

Identify Disease

Cutting-edge advancements in imaging technology have the potential to revolutionise the diagnostic process for medical professionals. Various companies are actively engaged in the development of advanced deep learning medical tools aimed at enhancing radiology diagnoses through the analysis of medical data. These innovative tools enable clinicians to gain deeper insights into the nature and aggressiveness of different cancers. In some instances, they even have the potential to replace the traditional need for tissue samples by offering virtual biopsies. This breakthrough would greatly assist clinicians in identifying specific tumor phenotypes and genetic properties.

Improve Treatment

The field of medical AI is rapidly emerging as a valuable resource for inpatient treatment. Brain-computer interfaces have shown promise in restoring lost abilities to speak and move in patients who have experienced such impairments. This transformative technology has the potential to significantly enhance the quality of life for individuals affected by conditions like ALS, strokes, or spinal cord injuries.

Machine learning algorithms hold great potential in advancing the use of immunotherapy, which currently yields a positive response in only 20 per cent of patients. By leveraging new technologies, it may be possible to identify novel therapeutic approaches that can be tailored to an individual’s unique genetic makeup, improving the efficacy of treatment options.

In the realm of drug development, AI has the potential to revolutionise the process by significantly reducing the time and costs associated with discovery. AI tools enable data driven decision-making, facilitating researchers in identifying promising compounds and guiding them toward further exploration and development.

Assist in operational and administrative workflow

AI has the potential to streamline administrative and operational workflows within the healthcare system by automating various processes. One area where significant improvements can be made is in the recording of notes and reviewing medical records within electronic health records. Currently, physicians spend a substantial portion of their time, ranging from 34 per cent to 55 per cent, on these tasks, leading to decreased productivity. However, the implementation of clinical documentation tools that utilise natural language processing can significantly reduce the time clinicians spend on documentation. By automating this process, healthcare providers can allocate more time to delivering high-quality care to their patients.

Furthermore, AI technology can greatly benefit health insurance companies. The evaluation of healthcare claims is a time consuming task, as a significant proportion, approximately 80 per cent, of these claims, are identified by insurers as fraudulent or incorrect. However, with the assistance of natural language processing tools, insurers can rapidly detect potential issues within seconds, compared to the days or even months it would traditionally take. This enables insurers to efficiently identify and address fraudulent or incorrect claims, leading to more streamlined and accurate processes.

Boost adherence and patient engagement

The utilisation of wearables and personalised medical devices, such as smartwatches and activity trackers, presents significant benefits for both patients and clinicians in monitoring health. These devices not only enable individuals to track their own health metrics but also contribute to valuable research on population health factors through the collection and analysis of individual data.

Moreover, these devices can play a crucial role in promoting patient adherence to treatment recommendations. Adherence to treatment plans is a key determinant of treatment outcomes. When patients fail to comply with prescribed behaviors or medication regimens, the effectiveness of the care plan can be compromised. In this context, the ability of AI to personalise treatment approaches holds great potential in enhancing patient engagement and involvement in their own care. AI tools can be leveraged to send patients tailored alerts or content intended to motivate and prompt them to take necessary actions.

Another application of AI in healthcare is the development of a patient self-service model, accessible through online portals on portable devices. This model offers enhanced convenience and increased choices for patients, empowering them to access the care they require in a more efficient manner. By adopting a self-service approach, healthcare providers can reduce costs while enabling consumers to easily navigate and obtain the care they need.

Way forward

The adoption of AI and ML in healthcare holds the promise of saving lives by facilitating timely and accurate diagnoses, optimising treatment approaches, and improving patient outcomes. By leveraging the power of AI, healthcare providers can enhance the quality of care delivered to patients while also reducing costs through improved efficiency and resource utilisation.

As the field of AI and ML in healthcare continues to mature, it will undoubtedly revolutionise the industry, leading to transformative advancements. By embracing AI-driven technologies, the medical community can unlock new possibilities, drive innovation, and ultimately improve the overall quality of healthcare delivery.

Views expressed by Vikram Thaploo, CEO-Telehealth, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited


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