The impact of AI and machine-learning in healthcare

The growing impact of AI and machine-learning technology in healthcare

Artificial intelligence (AI) within industry and everyday technologies is rapidly developing. From your mobile phone, to online chat-bots and data analysis tools, incredible advances in machine-learning capabilities are revolutionising the way we communicate, access services, understand datasets and make vital decisions. 

Within the healthcare space, these digital and virtual technologies are quickly becoming an integral part of the delivery of holistic, highest-quality care.

Adoption of AI technologies in healthcare has traditionally been slow. However, in the era of COVID-19, their potential to work alongside clinicians and optimise both simple and complex processes has been increasingly realised. 

Most AI projects draw upon large amounts of data to provide applicable information in clinical settings, but their machine-learning capabilities are also appropriate for patients at home, offering accurate symptom detection and analysis. 

Mobile applications ResApp and ëlarm, from Australia and New Zealand respectively, highlight the possibilities of consumer-facing AI. ResApp uses audio-analysis technology to derive illness from the sound of an individual’s cough, while ëlarm interpretes heart-rate data from smart watches to discern abnormalities.

Other virtual technologies such as cloud computing and data storage, video calling and digital therapies also come together to deliver healthcare experiences minimising the need for face-to-face solutions.      

However, the limit of AI’s capabilities within the health space does not end at respiratory illness. Dr Nigel Greenwood, CEO and founder of Diabetes Neuromathix, says that AI is a new beginning in all healthcare.

“AI is augmenting the capabilities of clinicians, allowing them to create accurate models and solutions based on what we know and have the data for, but cannot evaluate personally or efficiently.”

Diabetes Neuromathix has developed a comprehensive and forever-learning AI that constructs personalised insulin infusion models for those with unstable type-1 diabetes. It applies findings derived from complex medical datasets to a patient’s unique body dynamics to generate a real-time means to stabilise blood glucose levels. The AI has the ability to be self-critical and recognise data ambiguities or computational mistakes. 

“Projects like Neuromathix are seeing humans in dialogue with AI. They are building relationships with data-driven hypotheses to provide de-risked and fully explainable support. We’re empowering clinicians with the relevant information to save more lives.”

Greenwood emphasises that the future of AI in healthcare is one of close collaboration, where thinking is split between machines and clinicians as they work together to deliver exceptional care. 

The road to industry-wide implementation 

Although the benefits of AI and clinicians working side-by-side are clear and in reach, its widespread implementation depends on strategic planning, system implementation and industrial changes. 

Lachlan McCalman, machine-learning researcher, engineer and Chief Practitioner at Gradient Institute, says the highly impactful and elaborate nature of AI requires comprehensive training to see the best and most ethical outcomes.

“AI technology is new and very complex, so when we’re introducing a new technology into an area where it can be involved in very consequential decisions, we have to be very careful to understand what the implications of that technology are going to be. This means considering the way that AI will change existing medical applications and being prepared to control the risks.”

Gradient Institute is a non-for-profit research organisation that analyses AI systems through an ethical, accountable and transparent lens. Their team explores digital systems across various disciplines including education, health, finance and retail to ensure harm and inequality is void from new technological developments.

“The success of AI is not purely a technical problem, with an understanding of the different responsibilities that are implied throughout an organisation also really critical. Practitioners can’t just assume that the AI developers and engineers know what’s what. It’s about balancing leadership, training, business decisions, oversight and domain expertise to ensure these systems are designed and work right.” 

McCalman is a key presenter in a new national program presented by IntelliHQ and partners that delivers immersive and holistic training on AI and big data within healthcare. The initiative works to develop foundational knowledge in next-generation technologies and uplift the capabilities of clinicians, researchers, and scientists.

IntelliHQ extends targeted training courses alongside collaborative and challenge-based “Datathons’ to curious researchers and clinicians. Dr. Stephanie Chaousis, General Manager of IntelliHQ, says that AI and machine-learning innovations within the healthcare space have the potential to  greatly support healthcare workers,  improve patient well-being, and optimise systematic efficiency.

“AI and similar digital or virtual technologies are not the future of health anymore, they are the present, the now. They are already known to have incredible, positive impacts on the healthcare space, both for patients and clinicians, and with even greater interactive confidence across the industry, we’ll only see better and better outcomes.

“Proper, comprehensive training and understanding of these innovative medical developments is only the beginning. Starting now, we’re readying clinicians to translate their cutting-edge knowledge into real-life medical situations”.

Dr Lachlan McCalman presented at IntelliHQ’s AI in Healthcare Training Program. An initiative supported by MTPConnect’s $32 million Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).  This series of events is designed to up-skill healthcare leaders, clinicians and researchers and scientists in big data and AI. For anyone interested in experiencing cutting-edge education and training from world-class healthcare institutes, you can find more information and secure your place for 2023 here

For other questions or enquiries about additional IntelliHQ programs, please reach out to the IntelliHQ team here


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