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The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a major catalyst in the healthcare revolution is unquestionable. We are today experiencing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the proliferation of technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds and thereby impacting global economies and industries is unparalleled.
While we are seeing the pervasive influence of technology in our lifestyle, we are challenged by the burden of chronic disease on our healthcare system. In the United States chronic disease accounts for $3 of every $4 spent on healthcare or $7,900 for every American with chronic disease. Chronic disease causes 7 out of every 10 deaths. Chronic disease is both predictable and preventable, and AI can play a pivotal role in addressing solutions that can provide personalized medicine, and interventions.
Big Data, Deep Learning & Disease Detection – AI has already started revolutionizing the healthcare by leveraging big data analysis to optimize healthcare services. A good example of this service is Google’s Deepmind Health project. IBM Watson for Oncology has an advanced ability to analyze a patient’s data and provide personalized treatment plans that combines the attributes from the patient’s file, clinical expertise, external research and data. These techniques can be also leveraged to detect cancer or vascular diseases in their very early stage.
Precision Medicine & Deep Genomics – Identifying patterns in huge data sets of genetic information and medical records, looking for mutations and linkages in diseases and personalizing the treatment and process protocols for a patient will play a key role in increasing the efficacy of treatment to address chronic disease. Atomwise has launched a virtual search for safe, existing medicines that could be redesigned to treat the Ebola virus. Similarly, nearly 50% of the U.S. population, and almost 90% of people 65 years and over (or approximately 36 million patients), take at least one prescription drug and more than 10% of the U.S. population, and almost 40% of people 65 years and over (or approximately 16 million patients), take five or more prescription drugs. We can leverage AI to address the huge burden on the healthcare system by polypharmacy.