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With computers becoming more and more powerful every year, it is natural to put that increased computing power to good use. And what better use is there than to improve the health and well-being of the makers of those computers?
Researchers at both public and private institutions have been busy applying the mind-boggling processing speed of super computers to healthcare issues of all types. Here are four ways scientists are making all our lives better with the power of artificial intelligence.
According to most sources, IBM is the current artificial intelligence leader, proven by the launch of Watson, its Jeopardy-winning natural-language AI. In February the company began collaboration with WellPoint, the largest medical provider in the United States, to help fight cancer with Watson. Researchers often identify elements that can potentially lead to cures for patients; however, these new results can take a while to trickle out to doctor’s who can apply them, limiting the helpful treatments patients can receive. With Watson, IBM and WellPoint think they have a tool which go through all the combined scientific literature and produce novel solutions for individual treatment plans.
Another artificial intelligence element being developed is software that will allow hospitals to project how many nurses they will need and when, effectively eliminating redundancies, as well as shortages, in staffing. At an organizational level this not only produces cost savings through greater efficiency, it also provides greater transparency for top management and relevant stakeholders.
New research from Indiana University showed that artificial intelligence can help decrease the price of hospitalization up to 50%. In fact, reports indicate that doctors who use artificial intelligence to treat their patients have 50% better outcomes. Utilizing these systems allows physicians to focus on what they do best, recognizing symptoms and prescribing treatments, while allowing computer models to predict what outcomes and future courses of action may be.
There seems to be no limit to the benefits that artificial intelligence offers. In the future it could even help train future doctors. Researchers at the University of Southern California are working on developing a new concept that could help trainees address mental illnesses. The teams are focusing on “developing virtual mental health patients that converse with human trainees”.
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