The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how vulnerable the global healthcare businesses are: limited medical supplies, insufficient hospital beds and medical staff, insufficient and inaccurate alerts, slow reactions, and no timely treatments or remedies. This is a tough time for the healthcare industry in keeping people safe and healthy not only from the virus but also from the other conventional health-related emergency issues.
Due to the lack of government regulations, the healthcare industry was pretty slow in integrating technology into its ecosystems. Nevertheless, the pandemic has changed everything. The whole industry speeds up the digital transformation process and embraces new challenges associated with legislation and technological usage. Artificial intelligence (AI) appears as a vital application in assisting global health experts to protect people's health and provide timely treatments as well as information for patients, in the "next normal" world.
According to Business Insider Intelligence, investment in AI healthcare applications is projected to increase annually at 48% between 2017 and 2023.
AI Healthcare Revolution In The Pandemic's Wake
AI-enabled tools such as virtual healthcare, telemedicine, prediction, screening, and faster diagnosis, have already played a useful role in many aspects of the global healthcare infrastructure to fight against the spread of coronavirus.
In Norway, a company named Globus.ai has invented an AI-enabled system to match the right medical staff to patients based on needs, requirements, and available shifts of healthcare practitioners. Additionally, it also helps make the schedule of medical staff rote more efficient, based on Natural Language Processing, deep learning, and machine learning techniques.
In April, Facebook AI worked with New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences to invent localized predictions of the spread of the virus. These forecasting models can help healthcare providers effectively distribute resources such as staff, bed, ICU capacities, and medical supplies in the preparation for an expected rise in patients.
AI Applications In Different Sectors Of Healthcare
According to Rock Health, digital health technology funder, in 2019, almost $2 billion have been invested in technology companies with AI advancements.
In the first quarter of 2020, the amount of investments increased by $155 million, compared to the same period last year. There are six major areas expected to accelerate in the coming years, including hospital workflow, virtual assistants, therapy planning, wearables, medical imaging and diagnosis, and new drug discovery.
AI-powered automation solutions can help facilitate hospital workflows and medical systems for daily activities such as booking appointments or insurance payments. Besides, drug discovery and development are costly in the current pharmaceutical situation, mostly because of more money and longer time spent on the clinical trial phase. However, AI machine learning can model many tests and variables to see its influence before conducting simulations in the real context.
Telemedicine allows healthcare professionals and pharmacists to treat patients at a distance by using telecommunications technology. This remote health service has brought many benefits for both patients and providers, especially during COVID-19. As the healthcare staff need to stay healthy and the exposure to the virus must be limited to the minimum level, the need for remote treatment and video consultation has skyrocketed. This solution helps reduce the risk of spreading the virus from traveling of patients to hospitals and pharmacies.
The drugstore chain Rite Aid Corporation has worked with telehealth company InTouchHealth to offer virtual health assessment at its RediClinic Express kiosks in Rite Aid’s brick-and-mortar stores.
"One size fits all" approach is no longer suitable and customers' demands need to be put at the front and center of healthcare solutions.
Your.MD is a virtual assistant app that can provide patients with safe and actionable information on hundreds of conditions, then recommend personalized health products and services, and connect patients with doctors, based on the patient's condition. The app is also a personal health journal for patients to keep track of their own health conditions.
At Viome, they have recognized a clear link between the function of digestive organisms and overall health. Viome can test what’s happening inside the body at a biochemist level. With analyzed personal data, it is possible to identify how microbes are behaving and how to optimize the digestive ecosystem with food.
Moreover, mobile applications add a lot of value to end- users and pharmacy retailers. In addition to the capability of buying many health-related products online such as medicine, vitamin supplements, diet, fitness, and beauty products, those mobile apps can also connect shoppers with pharmacists through online video and help with electronic prescribing as well as home delivery services.
The virtual healthcare services and technologies, in the post-pandemic-world are expected to be accelerated and particularly helpful in areas where the lack of accessibility to basic healthcare is a serious problem.
Health.io can is an app providing patients accurate clinical- grade urinalysis at home. Its computer-vision algorithms and calibration method can deliver medical diagnostics based on photos of test strips taken by a smartphone camera.
The Revieve AI Skincare Advisor can instantly provide detailed diagnostics and recommendations of personalized products and beauty advice, based on the selfie picture of shopper. The solution combines advanced selfie face mapping skin analysis with user data to provide automated AI-driven skincare product recommendations along with advice and education in any channels.
Under the coronavirus circumstance, people are paying more attention in boosting their immune system by taking extra nutrition supplements. there is a huge number of nutrition products on the market and consumers are facing difficulties in choosing the right products for their needs, lifestyle, and personal vitamin goals.
The Revieve Nutrition Advisor conducts an analysis of the user's selfie assessing skin and facial characteristics that may indicate specific nutrition needs as well as uncovers the user's health and wellness goals, concerns and preferences in order to recommend the ideally personalized nutrition regimen to help achieve their nutrition targets.
Several kinds of digital diagnostic solutions are currently being developed and altering consumer experience with quick, easy, and accurate access to disease diagnosis regardless of where they are.
For instance, ResApp's technology is based on coughing and breathing sounds to diagnose the respiratory tract's situation. The solution uses the microphone of a mobile phone to analyze coughing sounds and then precisely diagnose respiratory-related diseases.
BiliScreen is a smartphone-based app that estimates bilirubin levels through a picture of a person's eyes taken by phone camera. This technology can detect the disease at levels that human eyes can't recognize.
The Revieve AI Skincare Solution can instantly provide detailed diagnostics and recommendations of personalized products and beauty advice, based on the selfie picture of shopper. The solution combines advanced selfie face mapping skin analysis with user data to provide automated AI-driven skincare product recommendations along with advice and education in any channels.