Randall Wilson,Director, IT Operation,OSF HealthCare
Leveraging AI in telemedicine and telehealth can help doctors offer better services to patients by simplifying work practices.
Telemedicine is the exchange of medical data from one location to another using electronic communication. Telemedicine has evolved in the past few years and has become a vital part of health care, penetrating public hospitals, private clinics, and even people's residences and workplaces. Health delivery organizations are on the threshold of a change in how they will offer clinical care, and they now realize the value of virtual care and telemedicine. The use of Artificial intelligence (AI) in telemedicine will play a significant role in bringing about this change in healthcare. Here is how the use of AI in telemedicine can revolutionize the healthcare sector.
Remote diagnosis is possible due to telemedicine. Doctors can monitor, diagnose, and treat diseases remotely with the assistance of telemedicine. It has helped in mitigating patient visits, as in the case of diabetic retinopathy patients. With the addition of AI in screening procedures, many visits can be expected to mitigate even further. With an AI system embedded in the screening process, all that the algorithm will require are retinal images. The AI algorithm can evaluate the photos and compare them with previous samples to accurately decide the severity of the condition. A considerable time and labor will be saved by using AI in the screening operation, both for the doctors and the patients.
Similarly, another startup aims to train an AI algorithm to identify the occurrence of rare genetic diseases by analyzing photos of patients. Presently, patients with rare genetic disorders, on average, need seven visits to the doctor's clinic before a correct diagnosis of the disease can be done. However, with AI and telemedicine, several visits can be reduced to zero. All the patient requires to do is send an image of their face to the doctor, and the AI algorithm can analyze them and promptly diagnose the disorder.
The demand for smart healthcare, which includes the use of telehealth and telemedicine, is evolving, and with it, the role of AI in telemedicine, too, will evolve substantially.