AI helps healthcare providers to chart faster routes for ambulances and ensure that hospitals and clinics are not backordered, yet the future of AI could hold a lot more for the healthcare industry
The global artificial intelligence (AI) market size was estimated at $93.5bn in 2021 and is projected to expand at a CAGR of 38.1% from 2022 to 2030. Industries such as automotive, healthcare, retail, finance, and manufacturing are continuously able to expand and optimise their operations due to the advancements in AI. Moreover, AI is increasingly learning to do what humans do, but more quickly and more efficiently.
The global AI market was estimated at $93.5bn in 2021 and is projected to expand at a CAGR of 38.1% from 2022 to 2030.
For instance, in healthcare operations, AI is being applied to consumer wearables and other medical devices to spot early onset cardiovascular problems, allowing caregivers to monitor and detect potentially life-threatening illnesses before they occur.
According to a survey conducted by Optum in 2021 on utilising AI in healthcare among 500 senior healthcare executives, respondents recorded an overwhelmingly positive response. 98% of most healthcare organisations either have an AI strategy in place or are planning one, while 55% of survey respondents were optimistic that AI would create more work opportunities.
Optum, an American healthcare company and a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, also noted that survey respondents believed that healthcare organisations have a higher duty than most other industries to ensure the responsible use of AI.
98% of healthcare organisations either have an AI strategy in place or are planning one.
AI elevates supply chain management in healthcare
The benefits of implementing AI in healthcare include:
- Easing the administrative burden on employees
- Analysing big data for optimum performance
- Tackling cybersecurity challenges
- Ensuring supply chain continuity and logistics optimisation
55% healthcare executives were optimistic that AI would create more work opportunities.
How exactly can AI deliver on its promise of ensuring supply chain continuity?
AI, in combination with machine learning, can for instance, predict a clinic’s waiting time, equipment depreciation rates, or even the requirement of surgical instruments. While it might not make a noticeable difference in individual patient care, hospitals, clinics, and medical centres can utilise the data collected to make predictions. These predictions include the type and volume of products needed, and could possibly estimate recurring provisions in advance, enabling a smoother supply chain management system.
This provides manufacturers and suppliers with enough notice time to stock up, while medical centres can rest assured that they are never out of valuable products. Additionally, with demand matching, collected data can be analysed to understand how to match patients with the right products. AI can also help healthcare providers keep track of patient requirements and allergies in an automated system.
While AI-powered systems can help patients with better medical care, the technology is equally adaptable to global healthcare groups. These groups are using AI-powered software to recognise where to set up new health centres, the number of personnel required at these centres, and the budget needed for the smooth functioning of these new set-ups.
According to a study produced by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, 4.5tn doses of medicines are distributed each year globally, while 50% of the world’s population take more than one daily dose of medicine. Given the complexity of such a mammoth task, industry specialists noted that a backorder in healthcare is hardly an inconvenience, such as in the case of lifestyle or retail sectors, but a life-threatening scenario.
50% of the world’s population take more than one daily dose of medicine.
AI-powered logistics paving the way
In terms of logistics, organisations use similar technologies, such as those employed by 3PL logistics firms like Aramex, to ensure that patients are transported to hospitals on time by charting the fastest routes through AI-powered tools.
4.5tn doses of medicines are distributed each year globally.
AI can also be used in a similar setting to calculate the best path to move products and personnel in case of shortages or natural calamities. Recent global events have brought about how natural disasters or pandemics can affect operations. For instance, to effectively manage disruptions in supply chains, fuzzy inference systems (FIS) can be utilised to help with demand management.
FIS is an AI research and soft computing method predominantly used in healthcare for image analysis, biomedical signal analysis, etc.
The benefits of using AI-powered technologies in healthcare are varying and highly beneficial. For instance, the UAE government used smart solutions in its ALHOSN UAE app to track cases of COVID-19 occurrence through proximity tracing.
The real question is not what AI can do, but what it can’t do, while keeping in mind data protection and patient privacy challenges. The implementation of successful smart technology is based on big data, and it falls in the hands of private and public institutions to keep it controlled and secure.