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Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare: A Match Made in Heaven

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Guest Blogger: Donnetta MonkStudent @ Syracuse University
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Spotlight on Syracuse Student, Donnetta Monk: Syracuse University and PAN Communications continue to partner and support the growth of the next-gen PR professional. President & CEO of PAN Communications, Phil Nardone, has been an adjunct professor at the Newhouse School’s public relations department for more than 15 years. The PANportal is an ePortfolio program to support Syracuse students in preparing for their first PR job. PAN is proud to feature the following Syracuse student guest blog post.

When we imagine the future, we think about “The Jetsons” or “Back to the Future.” Although we are not flying our cars or transporting instantly to any location at the push of a button, Artificial Intelligence (AI) permeates our lives.

Think about the last time Netflix picked out your last binge marathon, Gmail finished your sentence or Siri created your grocery list. These are all examples of AI.

Companies use AI to predict actions customers will take based on their habits.

AI is also shaping the healthcare industry. In fact, according to Becker’s Healthcare, AI will save healthcare $52 billion by 2021

AI bots track consumer health, enabling doctors to more easily access patients’ health information. Apps and chat bots bridge the communication between the patient and the healthcare provider. Patients receive advice from their bedside and save time by using AI. AI takes a patient’s health information and creates recommendations that can prevent further illnesses from occurring. A recent article provides insights on AI and data as a “what is next” for the communication industry.

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Here are the top three ways AI is impacting healthcare:

Wearable Health Technology

Wearable technology like Apple Watches, Garmin geo-tracking devices and Fitbit smart fitness products have taken over the health world. In 2019, the wearables market is a $53 billion industry, according to Juniper Research. According to Business Insider’s research report on wearable technology, hospitals can use wearable ECG monitors to detect atrial fibrillation and instantly send the reports to the doctor. Wearable health technology allows doctors to measure electrocardiograms, or ECG. The goal of wearables is to connect hospitals and doctors to their patients’ health in real time. Now, wearable technology can help doctors provide the best care.

Wearable technology is also used in a B2B model, allowing hospitals to provide doctors and nurses with devices that help track patients’ heart rate and monitor other vital signs. The wearable technology is beneficial to the timeliness of responding to patients. For example, if a patient is having difficulty breathing, a wearable technology will alert the doctor in real time.

Access to real-time data makes wearables attractive to the healthcare industry. The technology will continue to evolve and the link between healthcare providers and patients will strengthen.

Health Centric Chat Robots

X2AI is a mental health chat bot that coaches people going through tough times. X2AI interacts with patients through text messages and provides immediate assistance. The goal is to interact with patients as if it’s a friend, coach or therapist. If a health risk is detected, the bot can schedule appointments based on conversations. With 24/7 analytics the technology provides insights about patient’s health state that can be used in conjunction with a healthcare provider.

X2AI is a system that will set expectations for the future of communication in the health industry because patients have 24/7 access to a chat bot that can provide immediate support. Patients with depression have the opportunity to communicate with X2AI at any time which may prevent patients from harming themselves or taking their life. Like X2AI, Safedrugbot is a chat bot system that provides information on active ingredients in patients’ medications.

IBM Watson

Watson is an IBM supercomputer that merges AI and analytical software. The function of the AI machine is to answer medical questions. The IBM surpasses the human speed ability to answer difficult questions. The machine can store over 200 million pages of information and has access to 6 million logic rules. This allows the computer to access information that may not be available to doctors. IBM collects health data every day and continues to update its system.

In Fortune, Laura Lorenzetti provides insights on how IBM Watson Health is transforming the health industry. IBM can provide the latest information on a disorder that a doctor may not have studied. 

Lorenzetti explains, “For example, say a patient has a rare, genetically linked form of lung cancer. A generalized cancer doctor likely hasn’t had the time to keep up with the latest in specific lung cancer treatments. In the last year alone, there have been at least seven new lung cancer drugs approved by the FDA. That doctor may not be aware of how best to use those drugs or even if they apply to this patient.”

IBM saves lives and will continue to save more in the future. IBM’s access to new information daily gives it an advantage over traditional search engines. Doctors will have the opportunity to use cases abroad and use diverse approaches they wouldn’t have considered. This will open the door to new medicines, new practices and a healthcare system that is dependable.

The AI Trend is Here to Stay

AI health technology will continue to positively impact the healthcare industry by providing real time analytics, accessibility and immediate assistance to consumers. AI makes healthcare efficient, dependable and trustworthy. In our future, healthcare providers will use AI to advance communication, medicine and treatment.

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An image of PAN's Brand Experience Report on the Potentials and pitfalls of AI for marketers

In our annual Brand Experience Report, we asked marketers and customers how they are using and experiencing AI to better understand how the technology is changing that relationship.