Healthcare AI is Advancing Quickly, so why aren’t Americans Noticing?

There’s no denying that artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare had a banner year. The FDA added 178 AI-enabled devices to its list of 500+ AI technologies approved for medical use in October. Two major players in the healthcare technology space topped the list of most approved devices: GE Healthcare, with 42 authorized AI devices, and Siemens, with 29.

Two businesses made roughly 40% of the new devices

Despite these two titans’ contributions to the field, a recent survey from medical intelligence company Bluelight discovered that, regardless of actual advancements, approximately 50% of U.S. According to adults, have neither witnessed nor experienced any advances in their care as a result of the advancements made in medical AI.

Why is this the case? When will consumers begin to see the benefits?

They already are, but may not realize it because many tools in radiology and imaging are used behind the scenes by clinicians, according to Peter Shen, head of digital health at Siemens Healthineers North America. However, increasing personalized medical care through the use of AI tools is something Siemens is constantly refining and prioritizing.

Shen: “AI extends beyond photography and pattern recognition.” We can build more effective methods of patient treatment thanks to the informed diagnoses that we gain from AI. More than merely effectiveness and quickness of decision-making are important to us in this regard. We want to start driving personalized medicine toward patients and make medical care more accessible.”

Beyond the hype and behind the curtain

The rapid advancements in AI technology are primarily aimed at making healthcare more accessible to the patients it serves by lowering costs, speeding up processes, and providing even more accurate, personalized care. The benefits of AI-enabled medical technology continue to evolve with each iteration, and many of these advancements are also being used to assist medical professionals behind the scenes.

Radiology and medical imaging are the fastest-growing sectors of AI-medical advancements, accounting for more than 85% of the FDA’s total list of 521 devices. Both GE and Siemens experts predict further growth in this area, particularly given the potential to change healthcare outcomes and diagnoses for patients.

For instance, in clinical testing, the artificial intelligence-powered mammography screening platform Vara AI was able to detect almost forty percent of the tumors that radiologists had missed.

Patients might not be aware that this is being used on them, but the diagnoses and treatment outcomes that result from it might be affected.

According to Vignesh Shetty, senior vice president, and general manager of GE Healthcare’s Edison artificial intelligence and platform, “AI is going past the hype cycle and into the mainstream, improving access to AI-powered applications.” “As a direct consequence of this, the field of radiology, Imaging, and healthcare is transforming, and one of the characteristics that will differentiate these fields in the future will be artificial intelligence.” “It is no longer a question of whether AI will replace healthcare professionals; it is more a matter of healthcare professionals who use AI differentiating themselves from those who do not,” he added.

Using AI to assist patients in 2023

Bluesight’s research discovered that, even though many patients reported not seeing or experiencing direct technological advancements in their medical care, 84% of patients responded either neurally or with the statement “I believe that technology has made healthcare more accessible” positively on a scale from 1 to 5.

This could indicate that there is room to improve education and dialogue about AI’s use in healthcare to build trust — something Bluesight’s research also found to be lacking. Simultaneously, AI’s personalization capabilities may be able to help with trust, allowing patients to feel more seen, heard, and supported.

According to Shetty’s explanation, “artificial intelligence technology has the potential to increase the accuracy and efficiency of medical diagnosis, so allowing physicians to give better treatment to their patients.” “In addition, tools powered by AI can assist physicians and other healthcare professionals in reducing the amount of time and effort spent on regular chores, thereby allowing them more time to spend with patients.”

As the year 2023 approaches, GE’s primary focus will be on patient support. Its solutions include the Edison platform, which improves patient process efficiency; the Critical Care Suite 2.0, which automates high-risk procedures; and the Mural platform, which allows clinicians to access the condition of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) to offer care and shorten the amount of time needed for intervention.

“What customers value is the reduction in uncertainty,” Shetty said, whether in healthcare, ridesharing, or another industry. Imagine a 20-fold increase in patient and provider experience with smart scheduling or faster MR scans and reports. That is the transformation that GE Healthcare seeks.”

Siemens, on the other hand, plans to double down on using its AI algorithms and technologies to improve pattern recognition, train it on large amounts of clinical data, and help derive better outcomes for patients in 2023, according to Shen.

“We can train AI to look at photographs, lab reports, blood tests, or pathology slides,” Shen said. If we feed clinical data into AI systems and train the AI to uncover correlations, it will assist physicians to make better diagnostic and treatment decisions for patients.

This type of work with AI technology can also be used to model patient anatomy, which could eventually lead to the development of anatomically correct, personalized digital twins for patient care, Shen said.

These advancements are unlikely to slow down anytime soon, and they are likely to become technologies with which patients interact more and benefit more in healthcare. According to Statista, AI solutions in healthcare are expected to skyrocket, with the market worth $188 billion by 2030.

While focusing on growth, Siemens and GE Healthcare both intend to continue prioritizing driving outcomes that benefit patients.

“Driving outcomes will improve the future of AI by leveraging data to assist medical professionals in making more informed diagnostic decisions and creating personalized treatments for patients,” Shen said.

Read More: Why Does Digital Transformation Matter and What Is It? 

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