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AI and healthcare: From science fiction to reality

By Tom Mellor, Head of Health & Life Sciences at BJSS



Tom Mellor, Head of Health & Life Sciences at BJSS, discusses how the power of AI and Advanced Analytics can be harnessed to transform healthcare.

 In recent years, remarkable progress has been made on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics in the healthcare industry.

What was once a concept confined to the realm of science fiction has become a tangible reality.

The integration of AI algorithms and machine learning techniques enable organisations to tap into the vast amount of data they are already collecting to extract valuable insights.

So, how exactly are healthcare organisations using this technology to drive advancements?

Enhancing patients’ diagnoses

One of the key applications of AI is in medical imaging analysis to provide more precise diagnoses for patients.

AI systems can be trained to analyse medical images, including MRIs, ultrasounds, and CT scans, detecting, and classifying abnormalities.

To achieve this, radiologists input a vast dataset of normal and abnormal images, allowing the computer to learn and differentiate between them.

These types of algorithms can then flag potential problems and identify patterns outside the bounds of human vision.

Optimising clinician time and outcomes

AI is increasingly being used to enhance how clinicians use their time, while simultaneously improving the accuracy and reliability of medical processes.

One of the specialist areas in which AI has drastically enhanced outcomes is IVF.

Working with CARE Fertility, BJSS developed a robust deep-learning model applying modern techniques in computer vision and time series analysis.

                                     Tom Mellor

The model draws on a historic data set of almost 500 million embryo images to identify the key stages of development.

Not only does this AI model drastically reduce expert time spent on embryo assessment – freeing up approximately six months of embryologist time per year – but increases the reliability of the embryo selection process.

Therefore, this technology ultimately increases the chances of a successful outcome for patients embarking on their journey towards parenthood.

Driving healthcare from home

Through the analysis of patient data, AI algorithms can assist in the move from reactive to preventative healthcare.

Remote patient monitoring is a key component of a virtual ward; mobile devices are used to, regularly collect health data such as respiratory rate, blood pressure and body temperature, and alert clinicians to any significant changes.

This enables timely intervention to reduce the need for extensive reactive treatments.

Remote patient monitoring is particularly beneficial for patients seeking out of hospital care, such as those who live in a care home.

Offering solutions that enable patients to receive care in the comfort of their home, not only reduces hospital admissions – and therefore waiting times – but allows hospital beds to be prioritised for patients in greatest need.

Unlocking the benefits of AI with cloud-based infrastructure

To fully leverage the benefits of AI, it is imperative for organisations to ensure their IT infrastructure aligns with the demands of this advanced technology.

Machine learning algorithms require speed, storage, and high-performance capabilities to handle the necessary computational requirements, for example.

Cloud technologies, particularly hybrid cloud solutions, are the preferred foundational infrastructure for AI.

With AI’s resource-intensive nature, cloud-based infrastructure provides the necessary computing power and storage capacity to handle the large volumes of data involved.

Crucially, the opportunity to scale with cloud-based infrastructure ensures that organisations can adapt in real-time to meet the varying demands of AI workloads.

Now is the time to digitally transform

The healthcare sector has only scratched the surface when it comes to the possible applications of AI.

With ongoing advancements and careful implementation, this technology has the potential to revolutionise healthcare as we know it, paving the way for a more efficient, precise, patient-centric future.

Organisations looking to harness the benefits of AI must prioritise the alignment of their IT infrastructure.

By embracing cloud-based infrastructure, organisations can unlock the full potential of AI, enabling them to drive innovation and results.

Now is the time to digitally transform your IT infrastructure to reap the benefits of AI.

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