How Artificial Intelligence Has Increased Efficiency in Healthcare During Pandemic


Throughout the global pandemic, there has been much change in healthcare. Some of the industry’s most apparent changes include restrictions on procedures due to the nature of Covid-19, and others include new ventilator technology to meet demand.

However, despite the pandemic and its challenges, an ageing population, mass amounts of data, and clinicians’ shortages make treating patients harder and more complicated as the years go on. Stretching current staff can cause a lapse in care resulting in mistakes concerned with dealing with pressure. 

The chart below shows the results of a survey carried out on nurses and their stress levels over the pandemic. Considering 53% of nurses feel more stressed than usual means the room for the interruption of technology as aid is prospective. 

(Image Source: Nursing Times)

Leveraging the available workforce and equipping them with emerging technological advancements will help to maximise efficiency and improve care. The bi-product of this will also mean better mental health for clinicians.

Artificial intelligence is one innovative technology that has the potential to revolutionise care to complement the challenges faced by the pandemic and alter the level of care for the better. Over the past few years, AI is gaining levels of traction in healthcare. An outlook on what the future of healthcare looks like includes consumer-focused data and prevention-oriented care. 

AI has already become potently embedded into healthcare analytics and will do so more in the future. AI uses algorithms and machine learning techniques to analyse and interpret data. Doing so helps to deliver personalised experiences and automate the process of repetitive healthcare operations, which are expensive. 

The functions available through AI can augment operational and clinical staff decisions while giving them the freedom to work on more challenging parts of their job. It will also help to reduce time spent on administrative tasks. 

Better care with fewer risks thanks to the use of AI will also be beneficial to patients as reduced health complications, in the long run, will bring down health plans and offer a better quality of life in the aging population, without draining the care systems and structure. 

Current applications of AI in healthcare

AI-based solutions have the power to effectively streamline diagnostics and treatment processes that can otherwise take long. It can do this by using vast amounts of structured and unstructured medical data across institutions. Doing so can help physicians at hospitals and health systems by providing them with real-time data.

(Image Source: PwC)

In response to COVID-19, many health systems and plans are likely to emerge from it, focusing on efficiency and affordability for all. Although health plans have and still do remain buoyant throughout 2020, they have kept a keen eye on economic trends via AI. Here’s a look at some of the current applications of AI.

Improving patient outcome with AI

Implementing AI technology has helped researchers at Mount Sinai rapidly detect Covid-19 by allowing AI to use the information we already know. The AI algorithm integrates a patient’s chest CT scan with clinical information, including symptoms, blood reports, age, and the rate of contact with infected people. The AI system was also able to detect 68% of positive covid cases under challenging situations that would otherwise have left radiologists to detect the outcome as negative. 

Accelerating the process of scientific discovery 

Scientific discovery is what allows our healthcare systems globally to go beyond their limits. An AI healthcare organization called Imagia has helped to accelerate scientific discovery through the platform EVIDENS. 

The platform empowers clinicians to structure live data from hospital systems by allowing automated data segmenting and labelling. This means it is able to turn unstructured data into outcome-based structured data harvesting scientific discovery. 

Automating administrative tasks will achieve time and cost savings

Saving is one of the most imperative parts of a business. Due to the nature of healthcare, many times, it is not considered as one and is overlooked. However, suppose the systems can save money by implementing AI and allowing it to conduct administrative tasks, which make it quicker and efficient. In that case, it’ll have more money to spend on other resources and equipment. Allowing the AI tool to identify workflows and processes suitable for optimization means various departments can benefit.

(Image Source: Deloitte)

Customer experience-enhancing thorough conversational AI

The pandemic has presented healthcare with issues such as video calls and telephone appointments. In its own way, this has exposed the level of limitations in the current healthcare systems, forcing it to move into a more technologically advanced system, even at the primary level. AI can enrich the patient’s experience by including conversion aI integrated at the Gp surgery or operation switchboard. This can help to resolve simple administrative inquiries and offer better solutions to problems. Providing patients with appropriate endpoints and care.

Amplifying the insight for the next generation 

Medicine and healthcare can only expand and become better when we know what and how diseases and illnesses occur. The use of AI technology will help provide the current generation with better care. Still, its insight could help foster preventative measures allowing us to create a better and healthier generation. AI algorithms can also pick up trends which can be useful when looking at social, economic groups. We understand that Covid-19 is having a more significant impact on those from the BAME community. AI insights will help to use this data and information to create better and implement systems to give this group better support and may even help to improve vaccination and vaccines.