“AI is enhancing the analytics world with new capabilities to take semi-automatic decisions based on training data” – By, Sukanya Mandal, Senior IEEE member

Sukanya Mandal, IEEEWhat are the new technologies which will be playing a huge role in India’s healthcare sector?

The Indian health-tech sector is constantly expanding. According to a recent report, the Indian health-tech market will contribute $21 Bn by 2025. With the merger of AI and healthcare, India is set to create new benchmarks with new emerging technologies surfacing.  

With more technology- enabled care solutions, emerging technologies like AI will have a big role to play. For instance, like AI could help mitigate the impact of severe deficit of qualified clinical staff by taking over some of the diagnostic duties, typically allocated to humans. Apart from AI, technologies like nanotech, IoT, robotics, 3D printing will have a crucial role to play in transforming the Indian healthcare sector.  

During the pandemic, 3D printing has been used to innovatively create personal protective equipment, medical devices and testing. Researchers are also using 3D printing technologies to develop organs, including hearts that use human cells, collagen and biological molecules, since human donor organ availability can mean the difference between life and death. According to a recent IEEE survey, 63% millennial parents globally are comfortable with allowing a properly tested/fully functional 3D printed heart to be implanted in their child if needed.

What according to you is the impact of AI and ML on healthcare?

AI and ML, among other emerging technologies, are critical in helping businesses have a more holistic view of data, providing them a way to make connections between key data sets. It can also make the entire process of data-analytics hassle-free and less labor-intensive, revolutionizing the way to get rules, decisions, and predictions in place. However, AI and ML systems needs to learn from data, as well as from human insight and intelligence, in order to fulfill its function and yield better insights.

Telehealth, AI and remote monitoring tools are helping nursing expand care beyond in-person bedside monitoring, creating a practically virtual nurse. A strong 54% parents globally are comfortable leaving their child in the care of an AI-powered virtual nurse during a hospital stay, as per IEEE Generation AI 2020 survey.

How do you think the electronic health care records (EHR) or digitalisation of medical records will help the Indian healthcare ecosystem?

EHRs have played an instrumental role in the digitalization journey of healthcare industry, but the switch has brought myriad problems associated with cognitive overload, endless documentation, and user burnout. EHR developers could use AI to create more intuitive interfaces and automate some of the routine processes that consume a lot of user’s time. Users spend most of their time on three tasks: clinical documentation, order entry, and sorting through the in-basket. Voice recognition and dictation can help improve the clinical documentation process.

What do you think is the scope of AI and related technologies in India?

AI is enhancing the analytics world with new capabilities to take semi-automatic decisions based on training data. It may not have all the answers to the questions one has for data as of now, but certainly for specific uses cases, revolutionizing the way one gets rules, decisions and predictions done without complex human know-how. In other words, insights and decisions can happen faster. Moreover, IT can apply similar principles – using AI technologies to reduce manual, labor-intensive burdens and increase speed – to the back-end stuff that few outsides of IT want to hear about. The real-time nature of data insights coupled with the fact that it exists everywhere now – siloed across different racks, regions, and clouds means that organizations must evolve from the traditional methods of managing and analyzing. That’s where AI will a vital role.

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