There are fears that machines will one day take over the world but let us remember that AI and robots have served us well and are here to stay.
BY ZULKIFLI AHMAD
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence replicated in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. Stephen Spielberg came up with an AI movie of the same title that tugged at the heartstrings about a super advanced robotic boy who wanted to be loved and be like any other boy.
There are a plethora of areas AI is being applied, viz, self-driving cars, manufacturing robots, automated financial investing, virtual travel and many more.
AI in healthcare, also known as Deep Medicine, is a term used to describe the use of machine-learning software and algorithms to duplicate human cognition in the presentation, analysis and understanding of complex healthcare and medical data.
The following are the important areas in healthcare where AI is applied:
AI has already been documented to help people to stay healthy without necessarily having to always depend on the doctor. The combination of AI and Internet of Medical Things has been proven beneficial.
Technology applications in the hands of those who believe in the efficaciousness of innovative medical devices puts them in control of their own health. AI also provides healthcare professionals the capability to better understand their patients with crucial information obtained.
Robots help reduce hospital acquired infections
Hospital-Acquired Infections (HAIs) are the consequence that anyone can be exposed to when admitted to or even visiting hospitals especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. UV disinfecting robots carry out their tasks without being infected.
AI is used to detect diseases, such as cancer, with more accuracy and during the early stages.
The widespread use of consumer wearables and other medical devices combined with AI is used to monitor early-stage heart disease, enabling physicians and other healthcare personnel to promptly act on life-threatening situations at earlier, still treatable stages.
Big Data and analytics in healthcare have in a big way been helped by cognitive technology of AI to decipher and makes sense of great amounts of health data and power diagnosis. It can review and store medical information sourced from symptoms, response medical journals, and treatment case studies from around the world at a much faster speed than humans.
IBM’s Watson for Health and Google’s DeepMind Health are examples of corporations or private entities working in partnership with healthcare applying AI.
Making the right and timely decisions based on big data is paramount and analytics that can predict well helps in making clinical decisions and administrative tasks are given priority.
Pattern recognition is used to identify high risk patients developing a condition. AI also makes great strides studying deteriorating health due to environmental, lifestyle, genes and other reasons.
AI can aid clinicians take efficacious steps in disease management. Scanning health records for health personnel helps identify early individuals who are chronically ill preventing worsening situations.
Robots have been a familiar presence in the medical industry for more than three decades. From the simplest tasks of handling test tubes in labs to carrying out intricate surgeries. Robots can be at the side of surgeons helping them or have capabilities to operate by themselves reminiscent of moving robotic arms, albeit at gentler pace, at vehicle assembly plant.
Robots have been used in hospitals and laboratories for the most rudimentary tasks that involve repetition, physical therapy, rehabilitation and for those needing continuous long-term care.
Terminal stage care
The current generation sees a longer life span but conditions like osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are causing much discomfort and protracted dependency on the part of the patient.
Robots can feature and play significant roles in terminal stage care helping patients to be self-reliant and independent to stay home instead of resorting to care and old folks home or hospitals.
The life cycle of drug research from the lab to commercialisation or for approved public use is long and prohibitively costly. AI’s application in healthcare in drug research has been significant. From the lab and various processes that go through AI have significantly cut time for commercialisation and costs.
Simulations by AI provide those undergoing training close to reality situations and understanding the massive data of reactions of role playing by trainees worldwide.
The future of AI and robotics
Covid-19 has made AI and robotics more significant in their roles especially AI in detecting the virus early and building early warning systems or robots doing patient screening and disinfecting and at same time preventing doctors and nurses from infection.
There have been fears that machines will one day take over the world. The more probable situation is that according to researchers at Oxford Economics, 20 million manufacturing jobs around the world will be taken over by robots in 2030.
And what has be seen is that AI and robots have served us well and are here to stay. — The Health
Zulkifli Ahmad is the founder of ESG Vision, a think tank advocating ideas and actions on sustainability.