Technology has changed the landscape of the healthcare industry over the past few years, starting from remote care monitoring to virtual reality. However one technology that is revolutionizing healthcare is artificial intelligence.
According to a recent survey, 7,000 to 9,000 people die each year due to a medication error in the United States alone. Over $40 billion is spent as a follow up, looking after patients with medication-associated errors, not to mention the associated psychological and physical distress. Artificial intelligence can overcome these challenges to reduce medical errors. According to a 2016 study by Frost and Sullivan, artificial intelligence has the potential to reduce medical errors by 30-40% and treatment expenses by as much as 50%.
Providing Better Basic Healthcare Services
Today’s AI powered mobile apps provide basic healthcare services, augmenting human healthcare professionals. For instance, Your.MD’s chatbots enquire about patient symptoms and give them medical information about their health conditions. Their AI platform has a huge database of information, connecting the dots between the symptoms of the illnesses and the causes. So the chances of wrong diagnosis and unwanted medical errors reduce multiple folds that could have serious consequences otherwise.
The company utilizes natural language processing to provide a fulfilling experience and machine learning algorithm for a detailed map of the patient’s health condition. This means that each patient receives a personalized healthcare experience.
Improving Doctor’s Decision Making
Artificial intelligence can bolster doctors’ decision making and eliminate errors using machine learning and pattern recognition algorithms.
Israel based company MedAware has developed a similar algorithm to help doctors prevent medication errors when using electronic health records. When a doctor prescribes a medicine that doesn’t match the patient profile, the doctor gets alerted at the point of prescription. The system can also alert a doctor if the patient is prescribed a medication that has a negative interaction with another.
A Harvard study found that 80% of the alerts generated by MedAware are clinically valid and that 68.2% would not have been generated by existing rules-based systems.
Assisting Nurses To Perform Better
A medication safety system powered by artificial intelligence to help nurses stop making medication errors is MedEye. Equipped with a scanner for pills and capsules, it uses a camera to identify other medications. These medications have been checked over a million administrations in hospitals in the Netherlands, Belgium, Iceland, and the United Kingdom.
MedEye verifies the medication using visual recognition and machine learning as it compares against the hospital information system, thereby demonstrating the medication's accuracy.
Eradicating Prescription Errors
PerceptiMed is a biotech startup that leverages AI technology to verify medications during dispensing and administration. The company identifies the drug and dose of individual pills in real-time while ensuring delivery to the correct patient. This technology not only eliminates medication errors but also improves patient safety and satisfaction.
PerceptiMed is also an enabler of the concept of telepharmacy. Their technology will allow healthcare facilities and pharmacies to balance and distribute workloads while maintaining compliance, adherence, and efficiency.
According to WHO, medical errors and faulty medical diagnosis are among the top 10 causes of fatalities worldwide. 1 in every 10 hospital admissions leads to a medical error and 1 in 300 admissions result in death as a result of these medical errors.
Undoubtedly, healthtech companies all around the world are leveraging artificial intelligence to create significant leaps in medical error management.