Fans of literary Science Fiction have been reading about Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technological advancements for decades. What has changed in that time is now, things that were once left to the imagination of authors like Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Isaac Asimov, are becoming the mainstream. Especially in the field of medicine. As technology grows more ubiquitous, everyone working in healthcare are being forced to adjust to the many ways AI and technology are impacting the industry.
The impact of technology on how physicians perform their duties is perhaps more significant than anyone else in the healthcare industry. Let’s look at five ways AI and Technology are impacting today’s physicians.
Typically, when considering technology and healthcare, the first topic mentioned is the use of robotics in surgery. The first documented use of a robot-assisted surgery occurred in 1985, while the first unmanned robotic surgery came in 2006. Today, more than one-third of U.S. hospitals have at least one surgical robot. The rapid growth of this technology is creating new challenges for physicians, young and old. The biggest change for physicians is in learning how to use the latest robotic technology, with none more impacted than surgical residents. Before robotics, residents learned surgical procedures up close and hands-on at the patient’s side. Now, surgery is performed at a console 15-feet away from the patient, and residents are forced to watch over the surgeon’s shoulder or observe at a second console. These training barriers have to be overcome for physicians to keep up with the growth of robotic technologies in the surgical suite.
One area that AI is clearly making a difference is in the early detection of diseases. For example, over 12 million mammograms are performed annually in the U.S., yet 1 in 2 healthy women are misdiagnosed. When AI is used to translate mammograms, the results are returned 30% faster and with up to 99% accuracy, which has resulted in a reduction in unnecessary biopsies and patient stress due to misdiagnosis. AI also performs a natural benefit by monitoring the data collected through consumer wearables and other medical devices. As advancements in AI continue to develop, look for the technology to detect life-threatening episodes earlier, leading to better treatment outcomes.
Decision Support Systems
Dosing errors make up 37% of all preventable medical errors. Researchers found that AI can be used to determine the correct dosage of immunosuppressant drugs for organ transplant recipients, a process that typically included educated guesswork combined with practiced guidelines. AI is also emerging as an aid to clinical judgment and diagnosis. AI can provide critical information to physicians by combing through the millions of genetic variants of a patient to determine a probability that one of them could cause a particular disease.
Virtual Reality Training
New technologies are used to augment physician training. Virtual Reality (VR) can provide physicians with targeted training on many clinical scenarios. AI, through natural speech technology, can even respond to questions or challenge decisions made within the VR session. Similar to how flight simulation transformed the aviation industry, VR is changing medical education and training. While still in its infancy, the benefits of this immersive training are unquestioned. VR provides trainees the ability to learn in a simulated, engaging hands-on environment, which allows physicians of all experience levels to learn at their own pace without risk to patient health.
Simplifying Administrative Tasks
One of the most significant areas of promise for the utilization of AI and technology is in streamlining the ever-increasing amount of administrative activities. New technologies can improve administrative workflows such as charting, ordering tests, and filling prescriptions through the utilization of voice-to-text transcription. Creating efficiencies like this allows the physician to have more time for direct care and more meaningful patient interactions.
Technology and artificial intelligence are already changing the way physicians are practicing medicine. As advancements continue across the spectrum of care, the question to be answered will be how physicians can most effectively learn and interact with the technologies to continually improve patient care.
If you are looking to take your physician career to the next level, partner with a firm that can offer a nationwide reach and decades of leading industry experience, contact Jackson Physician Search and speak with one of our recruitment professionals today.