Published On: Tue, Sep 11th, 2018

AI’s enormous potential to enhance patient care

African healthcareJOHANNESBURG – ARTIFICIAL Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which are two of the most talked about technologies currently, are poised to transform how healthcare is delivered.

Experts have projected AI and machine learning to evolve rapidly and achieve miraculous things and remarkable shifts in the sector.

A recent Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) report found that the potential for both AI and robotics in healthcare was vast and that they were increasingly becoming immersed in the modern healthcare system.

They allow for more seamless treatments, better decision making for doctor and patient alike, more effective diagnoses and even early detection of diseases.

“A superb example of how AI is changing the face of healthcare on the ground level is in the prescription of medication,” concurred Murray Izzett, Business Intelligence Manager at Medical Specialist Holdings (MSH).

MSH is a South African based company that offers oncology related clinical, administrative, and business management services to oncology practices across Africa.

“If a doctor is prescribing medication for a patient already on chronic medication from someone else, they run the risk of contraindications or interactions,” Izzett said.

He said with AI, the data was already on file so the doctor can check if the drugs interact and be alerted to any potential issues.

“The system can also provide them with alternatives so they can assist their patients with the right medications.”

Izzet said machine learning was about probability and can be used to determine the best treatment plan for patients of a certain age, certain morbidity conditions and which of the available regimens funded by the scheme give the better outcomes.

“In addition, in a machine learning environment, patient outcomes would be recorded and these would feedback into the knowledge base that refines its recommendations even further.”

Another benefit, according to experts, the patient is the fact that these systems are already in use by medical aid companies to reduce fraud.

Often fake prescriptions and appointments are registered using their medical aid details without patient consent.

AI and machine learning systems are capable of detecting fraudulent behaviour at extraordinary levels and are not only minimising the impact on consumers but on their costs.
– CAJ News

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