The penetration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is re-imagining the future of healthcare at a pace we cannot fathom. Advanced data analytics are transforming healthcare by discovering tech solutions to boost efficiency, standardising medical data, and delivering rapid, precise clinical insights. This shift holds the potential to enhance patient care significantly. Advanced data is helping us wade through the complexities in clinical decision-making.
Machine Learning (ML) tools, a crucial component of AI, empower computer systems to learn and enhance their performance based on past experiences. In recent years, ML has been used to diagnose diseases like Alzheimer’s, give us predictive analysis to detect breast cancer in its early stages, and precisely diagnose symptoms for heart ailments. The emergence of ML algorithms in disease diagnosis utilises extensive data to enhance precision in medical fields, aiding clinicians in making informed diagnoses. That said, the applications of ML in healthcare extend beyond diagnoses.
ML-based techniques can effectively detect early epidemic or pandemic signs by analysing disease symptoms, outbreak data, treatments, seasonal patterns, and spatial information. By automating routine responsibilities, clinicians can focus their expertise on delivering personalised and attentive care to patients. Additionally, ML-powered research improves healthcare outcomes and policy decisions by allocating resources, designing treatment plans, and streamlining tasks.
In the realm of risk assessment, ML tools contribute to enhancing the accuracy of risk scores, allowing medical providers to identify gaps in healthcare delivery and allocate resources accordingly.
Despite the potential of ML tools, data scientists and ML engineers meet various challenges when applying algorithms for medical diagnosis with data quality and accessibility, critically impacting their effectiveness. Further, ML models frequently function as “black boxes”, making comprehending the logic underlying their judgments challenging. Transparency is crucial to gaining the trust of healthcare professionals and patients, especially while making important decisions that significantly impact the patient’s well-being. Hence, researchers are actively developing techniques to make ML models more transparent and interpretable.
Since the most intriguing healthcare challenges need algorithms that can respond to “what if?” queries, understanding causality is key for ML tools.
The coming decades will have us harness the transformative capabilities of these technologies in an increasingly data-driven healthcare landscape. It will be fascinating to witness the promise ML holds in revolutionising healthcare.
The writer is Vice President – Engineering, GE HealthCare