Ninety-four percent of healthcare executives report that artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other emerging technologies have accelerated the pace of innovation over the past three years, according to an Accenture report.
However, the report also found that while technology investments have progressed, healthcare organizations still need to do more to meet rising consumer and employee expectations.
The healthcare industry has largely come to recognize that digital technologies must be a core part of everyday processes, with organizations increasingly investing in social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies. Eighty percent of healthcare executives agreed that these tools have moved beyond adoption silos to become an integral part of the technology foundation of their organizations.
Here is how AI, ML, and blockchain are reshaping the healthcare industry.
Impact of AI and ML in Healthcare
Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning in healthcare refer to the use of complex algorithms designed to perform certain tasks in an automated fashion. When researchers, doctors, and scientists inject data into computers, the newly built algorithms can review, interpret, and even suggest solutions to complex medical problems. Applications of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare are endless. AI and its subsets are used for medical diagnostics to diagnose patients with specific diseases.
There are dozens of health and pharma companies currently leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (particularly deep learning) to help with drug discovery and improve the lengthy timelines and processes tied to discovering and taking drugs all the way to market. One of the greatest examples is how pharma companies are using technology to discover potential drugs for coronavirus pandemic.
Moreover, patients’ outcomes can be improved through a wide variety of strategies and outcomes-driven by artificial intelligence. AI and ML in healthcare are a great addition to the information management for both physician and patient. With patients getting to doctors faster, or not at all when telemedicine is employed, valuable time and money are saved, taking the strain off of healthcare professionals and increasing the comfort of patients.
Impact of Blockchain in Healthcare
Blockchain technology is one of the most important and disruptive technologies in the world that is being used to unlock unexplored innovations in the healthcare industry.
Blockchain technology is expected to improve medical record management and the insurance claim process, accelerate clinical and biomedical research and advance biomedical and healthcare data ledger. These expectations are based on the key aspects of blockchain technology, such as decentralized management, immutable audit trail, data provenance, robustness, and improved security and privacy. Although several possibilities have been discussed, the most notable innovation that can be achieved with blockchain technology is the recovery of data subjects’ rights.
Medical data should be possessed, operated, and allowed to be utilized by data subjects other than hospitals. This is a key concept of patient-centered interoperability that differs from conventional institution-driven interoperability.
There are many challenges arising from patient-centered interoperability, such as data standards, security, and privacy, in addition to technology-related issues, such as scalability and speed, incentives, and governance.
Blockchain technology can facilitate the transition from institution-driven interoperability to patient-centered interoperability. Blockchain technology allows patients to assign access rules for their medical data, for example, permitting specific researchers to access parts of their data for a fixed period of time. With blockchain technology, patients can connect to other hospitals and collect their medical data automatically.