The power to predict a cardiac arrest, support a clinical diagnosis or nudge a provider when it is time to issue medication -- for many people artificial intelligence in healthcare represents a great new frontier. In addition to providing new applications improving delivery of care, AI is expected to bring improvements to hospital operations and to a range of clinical specialties.
With increased computing power, new storage and devices, the amount of healthcare data captured inside a hospital today has far outpaced our ability to analyze it. There is a growing concern that only a fraction of this data is being used to improve the quality and efficiency of care.
Technology’s predictive abilities promise new applications that will one day transform health systems, although artificial intelligence could also be seen as simply speeding up the way physicians have always worked.
“Using large data sets to gather insights isn’t an abrupt, sudden discovery,” says Vinay Vaidya, Phoenix Children’s Hospital Chief Medical Information Officer. “Humans have been doing this for a long time. Looking at data, physicians were very painstakingly taking notes, collecting all the observations to uncover patterns long before the rise of AI. A perfect example is the cholera outbreak in Soho, London in 1854.”