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Beyond Big Data – AI and IoT in Healthcare

Big data and analytics have been helping healthcare organizations achieve a certain degree of operational efficiency. By analyzing humongous amounts of healthcare information and offering critical insights into various aspects of care, big data and analytics have helped doctors make efficient healthcare decisions. However, the growth of modern technologies like AI and IoT have completely changed the face of the healthcare industry. AI and IoT enable healthcare practitioners to efficiently capture, store and share healthcare information through the implementation of intelligent recognition, positioning, tracking and monitoring systems. These systems use several RFID, infrared sensors, GPS and laser scanners and facilitate better diagnosis, treatment, management and decision to meet today’s rising healthcare demands.


The Role of AI and IoT in Healthcare

As more and more technology systems inundate the healthcare organization, the amount of data that is being generated is unimaginable. Analyzing this information and getting end-to-end visibility into patient health or hospital operations becomes impossible. AI and IoT bring with them an ecosystem of smart, connected, Internet-enabled devices, that enable remote monitoring of patients and efficient treatment and delivery of care and have become an integral part of healthcare organizations. According to reports, over40%of healthcare organizations are expected to use IoT-enabled biosensors by 2019. Here’s how AI and IoT are helping hospitals boost operational efficiency and patient experience:


  1. Facility management:The role of facility management in today’s sustainable environment has completely changed from what it was before. From integrating people, processes, and places within a facility, the focus has shifted to building highly efficient operations that unify siloed building automation systems, resolve critical issues through the effective use of existing data and offer an elevated experience. AI and IoT – through the use of data insights – reduce the need for manual operations, bring in data-driven intelligence and enable hospitals to achieve efficiencies of scale through sustainable benefits. By providing real-time information about automation systems, fire safety equipment, power and security systems, AI and IoT leverage existing data and enable smart energy management.
  2. 3D printing: In a world where the demands from healthcare organization have sky-rocketed, 3D printing – through the use of AI and IoT – enables efficient medical interventions and diagnosis. By helping surgeons to accurately figure out the anatomy of an organ, 3D printing makes it easy for better diagnostics and understanding, enabling doctors to analyze even the most complex anatomical models with ease. Since the size of organs varies from person to person, it makes it difficult for a surgeon to efficiently perform surgery. In the cardiology department for instance, where complex heart diseases require accurate anatomical description for accurate interpretation and precise intervention, AI and IoT help in producing a replica of the heart for effective surgery, quicker recovery and shorter post-operative stay.
  3. Precision surgery:AI robots for precision surgery are increasingly being adopted in the hospital environment: These robotsallow surgeons to perform minimally invasive surgeries with greater precision, accuracy, and safety. They dramatically minimize the chances of human error and help in reducing tissue and muscle disruption, blood loss and enable quicker post-operative recovery. Since they are extremely mobile, they can quickly capture the most complex of anatomies for better visualization and can carry out multiple interventions in parallel. In neurosurgery, these robots guide surgeons and help surgeons to visualize the complete spinal structure in real time, enabling them to plan, implement and confirm the success of the surgery even before the patient leaves the operating room.
  4. Remote health monitoring: AI and IoT also have a huge role to play in enabling remote health monitoring. Through the use of healthcare wearables and advanced computer systems, they help in shifting the care delivery model from a stressful and uncomfortable hospital environment to a more private and relaxed environment such as the patient’s home. With the growing demand for at-home and out-patient care, AI and IoT help meet patient needs by remotely monitoring patient health and connecting patients with healthcare practitioners for consultation and diagnosis – this helps save costs by avoiding unnecessary in-personal consultation or hospital stays, it also helps reduce load on practitioners and enables patients to get back to normal health sooner.
  5. Inventory management:AI and IoT not only help in boosting care delivery outcomes but also help healthcare organizations to efficiently manage the unending list of inventories. By tracking the location of expensive, medical equipment both in hospitals and in patients’ homes, AI and IoT help in drastically reducing the amount spent on managing and replacing reusable hardware. Hospitals and equipment rental companies can also manage and track inventories of medical equipment, in addition to drugs and disposables. This not only results in lower inventory costs but also reduces waste by ensuring critical medical equipment do not end up unused, in a landfill.

Improve Healthcare Decisions

AI and IoT in healthcare are taking care outcome and patient experience to a whole new level. According to a report, healthcare IoT spending is expected to reach a massive $1.335 trillionby 2020! By improving facility management, enabling 3D printing, precision surgery, remote health monitoring and inventory management, AI and IoT offer improved insight into patient health and enable healthcare practitioners to take better healthcare decisions. In addition, AI and IoT can offer end-to-end visibility into patient health information to identify patterns, spot anomalies, and provide personalized treatments. As the demands of the healthcare industry grow, AI and IoT can unearth critical insights into the health of patients and improve the operations of healthcare organizations across the world.

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