The task of providing improved and more personalised healthcare for patients across the globe is one that researchers have given priority attention in recent years. With the proliferation of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare, the emergence of precision medicine has become much more viable. Generally, there’s so much that AI does in healthcare, including making up for human flaws, such as fatigue and loss of attention and focus. It augments the care that specialists provide and offers immense opportunities in healthcare.
AI helps researchers generate better insights using superior computation and augmented intelligence and makes it easy for clinicians to make better decisions because of better and quicker information. The AI in healthcare market was valued at $15.4 billion in 2022, with projections suggesting a CAGR of 37.5 per cent until 2030. In India, AI is gradually making inroads in the healthcare sector, and one of its major milestones is its increasing role in precision medicine.
Precision medicine and the place of AI
According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, precision medicine refers to an innovative approach that uses information from the genomic, environmental, and lifestyle data of an individual to make decisions relating to their medical management. This reliance on data and information is where AI and machine learning come into the picture, using algorithms to determine specific genomic information and lifestyle choices to tell what kinds of treatment are best for an individual.
Precision medicine is also largely known as personalised care because it debunks the practice of using one-size-fits-all methods to treat different individuals. Precision medicine relies on large data sets; meaning that previous health records and data of individuals must have been stored electronically for it to be processed and used to make more precise decisions on how to prevent, diagnose, and manage diseases for specific individuals.
Using big data analytics, AI helps advance the course of precision medicine by helping to promote disease prevention, personalised diagnosis, and personalised treatment. Every human is unique, and by having access to their genome, health practitioners will understand how the specific human body interacts with diseases and pathogens, as different from that of another person. Hence, such an individual can be told what specific lifestyle changes to make, and what specific medicines to take, in order to properly prevent or manage diseases.
Furthermore, AI eliminates the practice of using guesswork and estimates, by probing and explicitly identifying all abnormalities based on data from their DNA, personal medical history, and family medical history. Hence, the possibility of error is reduced drastically and healthcare becomes more personal.
Towards better-personalised healthcare for all
Precision medicine is an approach that employs “micro-targeting” towards healthcare provision. Although it has been around for decades, the application of AI has added impetus to its delivery. It is important to note that tools like predictive analytics, deep learning technologies, content analytics, and language processing tools are becoming ever more relevant in healthcare, especially with regard to diagnosing underlying conditions early enough for successful treatment.
Views expressed by Dr Pavan Asalapuram, Co-Founder, Empe Diagnostics