Hunter Muller Predicts: Wider Use of AI Across Healthcare Industry Willhealthcare1 Accelerate Accurate Diagnosis and Effective Treatment of Patients

The lines between medicine and technology continue to blur, which is probably a good sign. From my perspective, I would prefer my physician to be leveraging the absolute latest technologies for rapid diagnosis and effective treatment.

I touched on this topic briefly in last week’s Tech News Digest, in which I included an item about an AI-powered X-ray system developed by GE Healthcare. The Food and Drug Administration had recently cleared the system, which can be used to accelerate the diagnosis and treatment of a deadly lung ailment.

The new system isn’t designed to replace physicians and healthcare specialists. Its goal is helping doctors make better decisions faster, and reducing the chances of them making mistakes. Essentially, it’s an AI-enhanced assistant – and definitely not an AI overlord.

It’s no secret that modern medicine is both an art and a science. The struggle has always been striking the right balance between the human touch and the rigorous science. The idea of applying technology to solve challenges in healthcare isn’t new – we’ve been doing that for centuries.

The rapid advance of AI across many sectors of the economy has led to some concerns about potential misuse. For many people, the idea of an AI-assisted nurse or doctor might seem frightening.

As technology leaders, I believe we can play a role in explaining what AI does – and what it doesn’t do. In healthcare scenarios, for example, AI will likely serve as a high-speed interface between the world’s medical knowledge and individual practitioners trying to find the best therapies for their patients. Stanford University recently launched the Stanford  Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and I urge you to visit the website for more information.

For healthcare professionals, AI will become another helpful tool in their portfolio of supporting technologies. Eventually, AI will be like a stethoscope – part of every physician’s standard toolkit.

But that doesn’t mean there won’t be bumps in the road. As with all new technologies, there will be a learning curve. Some healthcare providers will do a better job of using AI than others. There will be setbacks and disappointments, but there will also be unexpected leaps forward as AI becomes more widely used across the healthcare industry.

I predict the end result will be highly positive. Thanks to AI, more people will recover from serious illnesses and experience fewer debilitating side effects. Much of the guesswork will be eliminated, enabling physicians to move forward more quickly when treating life-threatening conditions.

We’re truly at the dawn of a new era in which technology not only makes our lives easier, it also makes them longer and healthier.

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