Healthcare Is Transforming, and AI Is Leading the Change


Abhinav Raj

Abhinav Raj, Writer


From diagnosis to treatment, artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way healthcare is delivered. To overcome some of the unique challenges faced by 21st-century society, the world needs AI: through sickness and health.

The landscape of healthcare technology is changing every day. Though in its infancy, artificial intelligence and the tools it powers—are pushing the frontiers of what can be made possible through medical science. 

In just over the last year, scientists have leveraged AI for the early detection of diseases, restore words to the paralyzed, and significantly improve the quality of life for the impaired—yet, it is tacitly acknowledged that we’re only witnessing the tip of the iceberg of possibilities. 

AI is transforming every industry it touches in ways we have had no preconception of. The tools powered by deep learning are now being extensively deployed in research, diagnostics and wellness applications. 

Towards New Frontiers 

The capability of artificial intelligence tools to analyze, identify and predict patterns in large sets of data has made it an invaluable tool in research and diagnostics. 


Photo by Michael Schiffer on Unsplash

In a recent interview with News Medical, Karsten Borgwardt, professor of Machine Learning at ETH Zurich explained how artificial intelligence helped the varsity to predict antibiotic resistance. 

“Artificial intelligence, in the form of machine learning, allowed us to develop a predictive system for antimicrobial resistance”, said the professor in a statement

“This combination of big medical data and machine learning algorithms allowed us to create a predictive system to address a fundamental clinical challenge.”

Although conceding to the fact that the research method involving AI would likely not replace the established methods, Borgwardt avers that ML will enable the researchers to rapidly screen patients and provide a quicker diagnosis to the patients in need of critical care.

The tech giants are making sizeable investments in tools that will aid the healthcare industry as well. 


Google’s proprietary computer vision diagnostics tool aims to assist medical practitioners.

Google is developing specialized AI-enabled tools to improve the experience of health practitioners in diagnosing disease. By utilizing the computer vision and image processing capabilities of AI, the tools will help identify medical conditions that are commonly seen and most searched for with a high degree of accuracy. 

Adopting, Scaling, and Nurturing AI in Healthcare 

Integrating artificial intelligence into the healthcare industry will be a process that is gradual, research-intensive, and filled with challenges—but also one that will pay dividends in the longer run. 

McKinsey & Company have laid out a three-phase plan for scaling artificial intelligence technology in healthcare in its joint report with EIT Health. 

The first phase comprises automatizing repetitive, clerical administrative tasks that consume the time of healthcare professionals. This will optimize their productivity and ascertain that most of the time of healthcare practitioners is spent caring for people with complex needs. 


The Apple Watch monitors some vital signs and sends out alerts when needed. (Image: Luke Chesser on Unsplash)

The second phase relies on artificial intelligence tools to shift specialized health-monitoring tools (that are currently only available in medical institutions) to homes, allowing patients to practice greater ownership when it comes to caring for themselves, and also reducing the dependence on healthcare infrastructure—ensuring it is available for the critically ill. This can be made possible through remote monitoring systems and AI-enabled virtual assistants for patients requiring supervision. 

The third and final phase would see complex AI solutions being employed in clinical practice. With enough research and empirical evidence, medical practitioners’ confidence in the solutions may manifest in developing drugs and behavioural treatments.  

The indelible marks machine learning, natural language processing and deep learning have left upon industries are setting. 

In many ways, AI is changing the world, and in many ways, it already has.