S oon, you may run into Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa (or an equivalent, unnamed intelligent personal assistant technology) at your local hospital.

At least, the thought is not beyond the realm of possibility, especially for those who are working to bring artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions to the healthcare industry.

In the coming years, AI is expected to penetrate further into every industry, including healthcare, bringing innovative new capabilities and disrupting old business models. According to Thomas Zenty, CEO at University Hospitals of Cleveland, AI and machine learning are two technologies healthcare executives must embrace and leverage in the future (Healthcare IT News).

AI and machine learning applications could have a significant impact on patients and hospital operations. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, there are many potential use cases for AI in healthcare. Wearable devices can capture patient health information, feed it into a machine learning program for analysis and comparison with medical records, and produce treatment or exercise recommendations. AI solutions can make it easier to identify patients at risk of developing an illness or other medical conditions by analyzing medical history data along with environmental and behavioral factors. Diseases and conditions can be diagnosed faster with the aid of AI and machine learning tools. Treatment plans can be optimized and personalized backed by analysis of a patient’s medical history. And operations can be streamlined by offloading some routine tasks from hospital staff, such as scheduling and registration, to AI-based solutions.[1]

National language processing and AI tools also have the potential to be used to communicate directly with patients via mobile applications. Solutions such as doc.ai, for example, see the technology being used to explain things like lab testing results to patients without the need to engage a physician or nurse (Healthcare IT News).

Investment in cognitive and AI solutions is growing rapidly. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide revenue for these solutions will increase 59.3% in 2017 and reach $12.5 billion. With respect to healthcare, the area of diagnosis and treatment systems will be a high priority and is expected to be one of the top five areas of investment for cognitive/AI-based solutions in 2017 (IDC press release).

Some believe AI solutions will one day benefit patients throughout their entire patient experience. In fact, Partners HealthCare is teaming with GE Healthcare to pursue such a vision. According to its press release, Partners HealthCare has launched a 10-year project in collaboration with GE Healthcare to explore AI solutions across the entire continuum of care.

The healthcare industry faces many challenges. Baby boomers are getting older and requiring more services. Cost of care continues to increase. Physicians are growing more dissatisfied. Patients are becoming more selective, adopting a consumer-oriented attitude toward healthcare services and providers. The physician and patient experience has never been more important than it is today. AI-based solutions can not only help improve both, but also potentially lower the cost of care over time.

Data is the fuel that feeds AI and machine learning engines. In healthcare, that data includes sensitive personal files, medical records, and other regulated information. Privacy concerns and regulations will need to be addressed. How that data will be captured, stored, aggregated, analyzed, and secured will certainly impact the speed and success of any AI project.

Quantum’s intelligent multi-tier storage solution is the key to enabling the power of AI in healthcare settings. Quantum’s storage solution for healthcare is designed for video applications and provides the best performance in the industry for fast ingest and access. Using a multi-tier storage architecture enables healthcare organizations to balance performance, capacity, and cost across the entire infrastructure—providing a cost-effective approach to the retention of data.

Learn more about Quantum’s video surveillance solutions for healthcare.

[1]McKinsey Global Institute. June 2017. Artificial Intelligence: The Next Digital Frontier?.

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