Can Blockchain Technology Be Used For Things Other Than Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is perhaps the most publicized use for blockchain technology. Perhaps this is why most people assume that cryptocurrency and blockchain are the same. In this article, we will show you that blockchain can be used for more than just finance and banking. This exciting, new technology has a wide array of applications that extend far beyond the implementation of digital currencies.

 

Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and others, merely use the blocks on the blockchain as a means to transparently and securely record a ledger of payments. Blockchain can also be used as a secure way of keeping data about other types of transactions.

 

In theory, people across various industries can use blockchain to store different data points immutably. This could be in the form of votes in an election, financial transactions, titles to properties, product inventories, and much more.

 

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Blockchain can be useful in any application where data security is paramount.

This explains blockchain’s wide adoption in vast industries like healthcare, supply chain, cloud storage and so on. We'll expound on these and other applications of blockchain in this article. But first, let's look at the technology, as it relates to cryptocurrency.

 

Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain

While people use cryptocurrency and blockchain interchangeably, these two aren't the same thing. Bitcoin was the first example of blockchain in action when it was introduced as an open-source code.  

 

Cryptocurrencies serve as an exchange medium. They are a disruptive fintech designed to make international transactions secure, faster, and easier, by putting control straight into the concerned parties' hands. These digital assets use cryptography and proof-of-work to create global currencies, secure transactions, control rate issues, all while removing aspects of government control.

 

The immutable, decentralized feature has fueled blockchain's adoption beyond its original use of supporting Bitcoin transactions. Here's how blockchain technology can be used for things other than cryptocurrency.

 

Blockchain Uses in Monitoring Supply Chain Data

 

The supply chain industry is challenged with enormous complexity, utilizing vast amounts of data. Information is often fragmented, inconsistently formatted, making it difficult to access or analyze. Blockchain technology seeks to address these and many other challenges.

 

Blockchain integration in the supply chain allows businesses to record a wide range of information effectively from date, price, location, certification, quality and other forms of critical data. This enables a more accurate and transparent end-to-end monitoring. It can also reduce disputes, as well as blockages of assets throughout the entire supply chain. By eliminating paper-based trails, companies can quickly identify inefficiencies and locate the assets in real-time.

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Blockchain integration in supply chain management will help save time and money.

 

Most companies agree that one of the biggest benefits of using blockchain technology for supply chain management is cost reduction. The ability to use real-time tracking in supply chain management proves to be one of the largest sources of cost-reduction.

 

Plus, there are other incredible benefits such as increasing automation through smart contracts, the provenance of tracking, scalability, and security.

 

Blockchain Uses In the Internet of Things (IoT) Systems

IoT is changing the way businesses run through the use of sensors and other edge infrastructure and devices. While a great thing, this poses a unique challenge for companies that have to protect data at all levels of the IoT environment. And with the ever-growing number of connected IoT devices, the need for data security has never been this complex. Blockchain technology is helping businesses resolve the security challenges in their IoT systems.

 

Blockchain combines with IoT to facilitate the machine-to-machine transaction. This blend also provides a range of potential benefits, like allowing smart devices to run autonomously without a centralized authority. It can also monitor how IoT devices send and receive information. The distributed ledger technology with IoT applies in automotive, agriculture, and banking sectors while, also, extending to smart homes, logistics and smart contracts. Blockchain application allows businesses to manage information on smart devices in an IoT system. This lowers costs linked to data transfer and IoT device maintenance.

 

 

Blockchain Uses in Smart Contracts

 

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Smart contracts are transactions that are secured by a distributed blockchain network.

A smart contract is a transaction protocol or computer program meant to automatically execute, document, or control legally relevant actions and events, as per the terms of an agreement or contract. It aims at reducing the need for external enforcement or a central entity as well as fraud losses.

 

Smart contracts use blockchain to capture, verify, approve and enforce agreements between parties. Blockchain-based smart contracts are irreversible, traceable, and transparent transactions. They are immutable, secure, and exist across a distributed blockchain network. Once recorded, it becomes impossible to change, delete or lose an agreement. The uses of smart contracts are vast, but they are common in property ownership and cross-border financial transactions. Other uses include: monitoring origin and the path of goods, banking and credit card services, among others.

 

Blockchain Uses in Cloud Storage

 

Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail are great examples of cloud storage. Many companies are using these and other premium cloud storage services to streamline their operations. Data in the cloud is easy to access, edit and share. It also cuts out the need for physical storage and security. 

 

Blockchain applied to cloud storage breaks down user data into small chunks and adds an extra layer of security before distributing it across the network. This is thanks to its features like transaction ledgers, private/public key encryption, and hashing function. Blockchain stores these chunks of data in a decentralized location. So, when hackers try to access the data, they’ll find encrypted data that’s only in parts. They will never be able to access the entire file.

 

Blockchain Technology in Healthcare

 

There are vast applications of blockchain in healthcare. Uses include protecting healthcare data, point-of-care genomics management, managing electronic medical record data, electronics, and personal health record data management.

 

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Protecting personal health information is one of the main ways blockchain tech can be used in the healthcare industry. It can also be used to track disease outbreaks and enable doctors to monitor patients, remotely.

Specific applications of blockchain in healthcare include:

· Research

 

· Collecting data

 

· Interoperable electronic health records

 

· Mobile health apps and remote monitoring

 

· Tracking outbreaks and diseases

 

· Safeguarding genomics

 

· Health insurance claims

 

· Tracing and securing medical supplies

 

· Data security

 

Blockchain Uses in Privacy and Security of Chats and Media

Media companies are now adopting blockchain to secure intellectual property rights of content, minimize costs and eliminate fraud. Blockchain in Media and Entertainment Market report 2021 by MarketWatch reveals that the sector will reach USD 1.54 billion by 2024. Messenger services are also not left behind. With billions of devices and users, there's an inherent danger of hacks, social engineering, and so on. Blockchain technology prevents identity theft, fraud, and data tampering while also protecting critical infrastructure.

 

10 Crazy Christmas Robots

Christmas is here with us, and there is no better time than now to spend time with loved ones. It is also a great time to explore fun things that trigger those childhood emotions, like the crazy Christmas robots. Speaking about robots, here are the 10 crazy Christmas robots.

An evil Christmas robot from the TV show Futurama

If you've watched Futurama, you are no stranger to the four-ton antagonist Robot Santa Clause. You probably even recall some of his crazy lines, "You DARE bribe Santa, I'm gonna shove coal so far up your stocking, you'll be coughing up diamonds."

Initially, the robot version of Santa was designed to judge whether people were nice or naughty and sort out presents accordingly. But a programming error set its morality standards too high. So, the Robot Santa sees everyone as naughty, save for Zoidberg.

So, every Christmas Eve, Evil Santa rides his robot-reindeer-sleigh to Earth to judge the naughty. And that scares everyone. Like when Fry, a character in the movie, tries to find a perfect gift for Leela, he has to hurry before the robotic, homicidal Santa finds him, chops his head off, and fills his neck with toys from his sack of horror.

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Santa Suit from Invader Zim

Zim, a character in the Christmas series, Invader Zim, creates a robot Santa Suit, an elaborate disguise to make himself look like Santa Clause. He uses sophisticated technology to make the suit, and hopes to control the Earth's population. But Zim ends up losing control as the Santa Suit grows a conscience and believes itself to be the real Santa. So it goes around the Earth and comes back every Christmas to destroy cities – and people try to keep him out using various creative methods.

Buddy 3000 from Netflix's Jingle Jangle

Everyone is obsessed with Buddy 3000, the Christmas robot from holiday musical Jingle Jangle. Buddy, a charming little robot, plays a crucial part in the film’s storyline, and fans cannot get enough of its magical charm. It has quickly become a huge fan-favorite because of how adorable it is and how it provides answers to Jeronicus's money worries.

One subscriber took to Twitter, saying that Netflix should to send all Jingle Jangle fans their very own Buddy for Christmas. Another one said that they better make a Buddy doll. And another added, “I have five siblings asking for the robot. Do something about it, please.”

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Sadly, no Jingle Jangle robot is currently available at the time of writing. But there's a Buddy in the market – an emotionally intelligent robot that can serve as a personal assistant and playmate. It can even sing jingle bells and other Christmas songs.

Toy Santa from the Santa Clause 2

The toy Santa is the main antagonist of Santa Clause 2. Curtis, the Keeper of the Book Elf, created it to replace Scott while he was away against Bernard's wishes. At first, the Toy Santa did his work pretty well. But as he understood everything about being Santa from the handbook, he went a little too far with the rules.

After confirming the nice-naughty list, he ruled that all children around the globe were naughty for one reason or the other. So he went all-out, building an army of toy soldiers and made it known that he would give all children a lump of coal.

When Scott came back to stop him, the Toy Santa flew in his sleigh. Scott followed him on Chet the Reindeer. The elves caught him and turned him into a small toy.

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Dancing Santa

Dancing Santa robots come in different shapes, sizes, and heights. They can sing, dance, and even offer holiday greetings. Unlike most of the Christmas robots listed above, the dancing Santa is friendly and is sure to make you smile.

Big Tex

Big Tex, a Texas State Fair icon, is one of the most iconic Christmas robot Santas of all time. But it met its untimely death after six decades of entertaining the locals and foreigners alike. Big Tex was a 52-ft-tall Santa made out of iron and paper-mache meant to attract shoppers and tourists to Kerens, TX. But it was destroyed after a purported electrical fire.

Edward Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands is all about the power of Christmas. Edward, an artificial humanoid, is an unfinished creation with scissor blades instead of hands.

Turbo-Man from Jingle All the Way

Turbo Man, a red-and-gold rocker-powered robot, is the new and hottest toy in the US. Every father worth his son's adoration secured it early before it's sold out. But one workaholic dad forgot. So he tries to do everything within his power – beg, borrow, buy, or even steal one to make his 7-year-old Christmas dream come true. In the end, he turns himself into a Turbo Man – and the special effects are shockingly cheesy.

Turbo Man is a fictional superhero character, toy, and franchise within the Christmas film Jingle All the Way. It is one of the most sought-after toys that kids wanted under their Christmas tree.

Robots in WALL.E

WALL.E is the last robot left on the planet, programed to clean the Earth, one trash cube at a time. But he later grows conscience and becomes highly curious and inquisitive, and somewhat lonely. Along with WALL.E, there's also EVE the probe-doid, M-O the cleaner bot, and Auto. While not a movie centered on Christmas, the robots are sure to breathe the fresh air you need this holiday season.

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Aeolus robotics

Last but not least is the Aeolus robot. This is not a Christmas robot per se, but one that you can get for Christmas. It is an adorable, intelligent robot that can do a little bit of everything around the house. It can deliver food or even find lost items within the house. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to learn from people and their surroundings. It is designed to help enhance home safety and help move furniture, clean the house, and even mop floors. Imagine how handy this robot can be this Christmas – delivering presents around the house and cleaning after people. Besides, you could use some entertainment – much of which robots offer.

 

 

 

How to Use Modern Technology for Senior Care

More than 40 million people in the US are 65 years and older. Projections show that this number will increase by almost 18 million, between 2020 and 2030, and hit the 89 million mark by 2050. So, basically, 1 in 5 Americans will be 65 years or over by 2030. With this growth comes an unprecedented time to watch modern technology for senior care emerge.

An aging population comes with a rising need for long term care, healthcare, and social services. Older adults have different healthcare needs than youths and children as they may have vast health issues like hypertension, depression, arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. Estimates reveal that 90% of the elderly have one or more chronic conditions and require specific medical care and treatments. This tends to separate them from the rest of the population.

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As more elders face isolation in the age of COVID-19, modern technology is innovating various aspects of medical care for seniors.

The need for this distinction has never been more evident than in the phase of Coronavirus. In fact, on March 17, 2020, Medicare announced that it would immediately expand coverage for telemedicine nationwide to assist seniors with health issues, stay at home and avoid COVID-19. This was in a bid to limit exposure to the virus, considering how vulnerable the older population is to the virus. Thanks to telemedicine, those suffering from diabetes and other conditions won't have to postpone their regular checks with the doctors. They can consult through calls or communication apps like Skype or Zoom.

Under the announcement, Medicare said that hospitals and a range of clinicians would provide telehealth services. Nursing home residents will also have access to doctors through telehealth. The caregivers were allowed to use their day-to-day technologies – including laptops, smartphones, and tablets – to support seniors and provide these services, but at a lower cost than traditional services.

Telemedicine is not the only scenario where modern technology applies to senior care. As it turns out, senior care is an upcoming market that is abundant with new tech opportunities

Families, friends, and caregiving communities are embracing digital innovation for senior care. The seniors themselves are also using technology in their daily endeavors. Reports show that 94% of those aged 50 and above use technology to communicate. Additionally, 80% of those aged 50-64 own and use smartphones.

With that in mind, here are some insights on how to use modern technology in senior care.

Webcams

Many states now mandate that senior living communities allow seniors and their families to install webcams or video monitoring equipment. Relatives can now install cameras to try to spare their loved ones from the harms of abuse, which is somewhat common in nursing homes. A webcam – or nanny cam as they're often referred to – also allows families to monitor the resident miles away and remain on alert in case of any problems occurring. Surveillance ensures timely help should the elderly fall, get agitated, lost, or lose their memory, etc.

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As new technologies emerge, senior care has made giant leaps in quality and ability to serve our growing elderly populations.

It's highly unlikely that an assisted living or a nursing home will have a 24/7 presence in a resident's room. Nurses simply won't be able to be there at all times. This leaves families wondering whether their loved one is safe. Webcams offer families peace of mind and can also exonerate caregivers who are wrongfully accused of theft or abuse.

And although privacy concerns often arise regarding webcams, HIPAA doesn't preclude their use in assisted facilities, provided the patient, his or her family, and the clinicians offer consent. After all, the resident's security and safety are the most crucial consideration. Other than nursing homes, webcams are also effective for hospice care, respite care and home care services, among other senior care options.

Thermostats

For senior adults, maintaining optimum room temperatures is critical for comfort and good health. During hot months, the elderly can be at a higher risk for heat stroke, among other complications. Cold weather is just as bad. 45 minutes of a cold indoor environment can reduce muscle strength of the elderly, according to an Age and Aging report. This makes them more prone to falls and injuries.

Besides, radiant heating can cause irregular hot and cold spots throughout the room. It can also introduce air pollutants and allergens in the space. This can be a problem for seniors, especially those with asthma or respiratory sensitivity.

Programmable thermostats are easy to control and allow for standard heating and cooling. They are ideal for the senior population. It is even better when the thermostats are specifically designed for the elderly, as they will have automation options and include large texts for those with less than perfect eyesight. Some of these thermostats use modern technology for senior care, including voice-controlled interfaces, while others even use artificial intelligence to learn the user's schedule and adjust the temperatures accordingly. The latter can be a great option if the senior has any mobility restrictions.

Internet of medical things (IoMT)

The Internet of Things (IoMT) is a network of medical apps and devices connected to health care data technology systems using a network of connected devices and databases. It cuts down unnecessary hospital visits and health care system burdens by connecting seniors to their doctors and enabling the transfer of medical information over a safe network.

The IoMT includes smart devices like vital monitors and wearables strictly for healthcare use on the body in hospital settings, community, or even with in-home senior care. The in-home segment features remote patient monitoring (RPM), personal emergency response systems (PERS), and telehealth virtual visits.

PERS includes wearable units as well as medical call center services to enhance self-reliance for limited-mobility seniors. It allows the elderly to communicate in a timely fashion and get emergency medical care. RPM, on the other hand, includes sensors and devices used for chronic disease management. It involves long-term care in the senior's home to slow the disease's progression and manage medication.

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Contrary to various stereotypes, many seniors have adapted and genuinely enjoy the use of modern technology.

Mobile applications

Many seniors are using smartphones to keep in touch with their loved ones and connect with the world. Since they are already familiar with their mobile phones, apps can be a great way to render personal care. There are all kinds of senior safety apps in the market – the goal should be to find one that's ideal for the situation. The best senior safety apps do most or all of the following:

Emergency response services (ERS)

Lack of sight, hearing, and mobility make it hard for seniors to navigate alone. Emergency response services like LifeAlert have GPS systems that allow caregivers to locate seniors – and can be a lifesaver when the senior strays or encounters problems. Advancements in the ERS world have also seen the development of unique gadgets, safety belts, and other tools to ensure that the seniors are safe.

These are only a few examples of modern technology for senior care. There are dozens of technologies designed for different reasons. But since seniors do not have the same set of conditions, its best to shop around to identify the right technology for their needs.

Technologies That Will Revolutionize Healthcare

Technology is transforming medicine everywhere, from the patient’s home to the operating room. Patients are now able to access quality and timely care without having to leave their homes. Doctors, too, can diagnose, treat, and monitor patients in a way that was never thought possible thanks to technologies that will revolutionize healthcare. 

According to one survey, doctors are increasingly using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for clinical decision support, population health, and disease management. The study further revealed that in 5 years, the value of VR in healthcare and medicine would grow over 30X, from $8.8 million in 2017 to $285 million in 2022. 

With that in mind, let’s now look at some of the technologies that will revolutionize healthcare in the coming days.

Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial intelligence is already being used by doctors and hospitals around the world for disease diagnosis, detection and prevention.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is getting increasingly sophisticated at replicating what humans do, only faster, cheaper, and more efficiently. The applications for AI in healthcare are vast. One of the biggest potential benefits of AI in healthcare is to help individuals stay healthy, so they don't need a medical caregiver, or at least not as often. AI, along with the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), encourages healthier behaviors in people and help with proactive management of a healthy lifestyle.

AI is widely used for the early detection of diseases like cancer. AI-powered systems evaluate thousands of pathology images from different cancers for an accurate diagnosis. They then suggest the most suitable anti-cancer drug combination. In imaging diagnostics, AI allows radiologists to identify details (like cancer cells) that wouldn't be visible to the human eye.

Beyond diagnosis, AI allows doctors to better coordinate treatment plans, take a more holistic approach for disease management and assist patients to better manage and adhere to their long-term treatment plans. It improves the ability of medical professionals to better understand the daily patterns and needs of their patients to provide better guidance, feedback and support.

The best opportunities for AI in the coming years are hybrid models, where doctors are supported in diagnosis, risk factor identification and treatment planning, but retain the primary responsibility for patient care. This will lead to speedy adoption by medical professionals.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality 

Augmented reality (AR) involves the use of displays, cameras, and sensors to transmit digital data to the real world. It starts with a real-life view of something and then projects 3D images onto the screen. Virtual reality (VR), on the other hand, creates an immersive simulated environment through expensive technology like headsets and motion sensors.

VR has changed the way students get medical training. It allows the creation of realistic simulation systems and safe environments where surgeons can acquire more experience without risking the life of a patient. Besides, the ability to stream operations in real-time allows students to learn, irrespective of their physical location.

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Virtual reality and augmented reality are going to revolutionize the way we train and educate a future generation of doctors and medical scientists.

In addition to learning, augmented reality plays a critical part in the efficient detection, prevention, and treatment of different diseases. With AR, a physician can look through layers of a patient's body – assess their organs, veins, and lesions without penetration. Both AR and VR can offer models for planning surgery and playing out different scenarios to maximize sequence and prepare alternative actions for any situation. Just recently, scientists at Cambridge built a VR 3D model of cancer, offering a new way to look at the disease. This system allows multiple users to examine the tumor, no matter where they are in the world.

The remarkable progress in AR/VR in the last few years is the result of decades of research and development in software, computing, graphics processing, AI, and the internet. In 2020, these technologies are widely embraced for their ability to manage pain and PTSD, motivate a healthy lifestyle, enhance medical training, improve surgery processes, and improve post-surgery recovery.

3D Printing

Different areas within the healthcare industry are benefiting from 3D printing, including dental and orthopedics. This technology is providing new and exciting ways to deliver personalized treatment and create better-performing medical devices.

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3D printing is a valuable tool to help hospitals and doctors prepare for surgery and other medical procedures with accuracy and precision.

Today, 3D printing is widely used to create personalized surgical tools and true-to-form organs, using a patient's medical imaging. Plus, with the affordability of desktop 3D printers and the accessibility of medical CAD/CAM software, more hospitals are implementing 3D printing labs. It's in these labs that doctors create accurate 3D-printed models to help in pre-surgical planning. The anatomical models assist surgeons to assess the treatment decisions better and plan operations more accurately.

3D printing is also influencing how surgical tools are created. Instruments like scalpel handles, hemostats, forceps, and clamps can be made using 3D printers. Customized tools facilitate speedy and less traumatic procedures, improve the surgeon's agility, and drive better surgery outcomes. It also creates dental products faster and cheaply and allows specialized care through customized implants and instruments

Today, 3D printing is facilitating surgical teams both outside (anatomical models) and inside (surgical tools) the theaters. Projections show that medical 3D printing will become the backbone of the industry. In 2020, top labs and hospitals are adopting the technology as part of their practices and research efforts, a validation of its value for medical applications.

Robotics 

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Robotics have been used by hospitals for decades. With emerging technological advances in AI and IoT, robotics faces a bright future in the medical field.

Healthcare robotics technologies are changing the healthcare landscape for the better. They are not only relieving healthcare providers from repetitive tasks, but they are also making medical procedures safer and affordable for patients. Robots currently work alongside surgeons during surgery, but they could also operate by themselves. The sales of surgical robots are expected to double this year to $6.4 billion.

Robotic medical assistants track patients' vital signs and statistics and notify caregivers when they need to step in. This allows nurses to care for multiple patients at one go. The assistants also automatically key data into the patient electronic medical record. Other uses of robotic technologies include disinfecting patient rooms, collecting, transporting, analyzing and storing samples, preparing and dispensing medication in labs and so on. Robots are also used in rehabs, in labs and hospitals for repetitive tasks, in physical therapy and a multitude of other areas of health care.

Although robotic technology is expensive, its use is revolutionizing healthcare in many ways and will continue to do so. Da Vinci Surgical system is the most common surgical robot today – though it was launched about 15 years ago.

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Many advances in technology are revolutionizing the healthcare industry, with new applications virtually every day. With technologies of the future, anything is possible.

Internet of Things (wearable devices)

Our list of healthcare technologies wouldn't be complete without us mentioning the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is a network of physical devices that use the internet to allow the exchange of data. This technology has opened up a whole new world of possibilities within the medical industry. When connected online, ordinary devices can gather critical data, provide additional insight into trends and symptoms, allow virtual care and give patients more control over their medical treatment and care. This tech is also a great idea for nursing homes and senior living communities.

Real-time monitoring through connected devices can save lives in case of a medical emergency like an asthma attack, diabetes, heart failure, etc. Real-time tracking means a smart medical device being linked to a smartphone app. Connected devices gather invaluable data and use the internet to send the information to a doctor. These devices collect and send health data like blood sugar levels, blood pressure, weight, oxygen levels, and ECGs.

IoT allows medical professionals to gather an enormous amount of data about a patient's condition, which would otherwise take many years to collect manually. This data can be used for different studies that would support research and also improve service deliverability and data privacy.

What is AI Up To in Healthcare & Research?

Major technology companies like Microsoft, IBM, and Google are investing in the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for healthcare, research and beyond. There's also a steady rise in the number of medical AI startups firms joining in. This leaves us wondering, what is AI up to in healthcare and research, and why the growing interest in the area?

Artificial Intelligence techniques have sent huge waves across the healthcare industry, even driving conversations of whether AI robots will eventually replace human doctors in the future. Doctors essentially do three things: diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. All three core duties are being performed by AI systems that employ deep learning, machine learning, time series forecasting, and natural language processing.

AI systems are showing up and ready for prime time. They can now diagnose common pediatric illnesses, identify abnormal chest x-rays, and assess mental health. AI can also detect eye disease early on, perform surgery, carry out different front-office tasks, and analyze lymph node slides in pathology. And although AI in healthcare is still work in progress, a few things are clear:

But in as much as there are anxieties about AI replacing radiologists or robots taking jobs in pharma or surpassing the skills of surgeons, the truth is that AI isn't likely to fully replace the human aspect any time soon. Industry experts love to think of AI as an empowerment tool – one that offers perspective. Although AI can assist with diagnosis, treatment, and basic clinical trials, it's hard to imagine automated brain operation, for instance, where doctors have to adjust their plans once they open up the patient.

AI can help doctors collect and analyze data for their patients, in real-time. This can increase the accuracy of diagnoses and help reduce human errors made in regards to medical decisions.

What is Artificial Intelligence in healthcare?

AI in healthcare involves the use of complex algorithms and software to mimic the intelligent behavior of humans in the analysis, interpretation and comprehension of complex healthcare data. AI systems can execute tasks that need human intelligence to complete, like image analysis, speech pattern recognition and decision making. The algorithms are effective for automating repetitive tasks and they can outperform humans in tasks they are trained to perform.

What is AI up to in healthcare?

AI and diseases like asthma

Consider what Artificial Intelligence is doing in asthma treatment. Asthma affects 1 in 12 children. Doctors use conventional methods – like checking for wheezing – to diagnose asthma. They ask parents or caregivers to remember how often they administer drugs to their children. They ask about the triggers and whether the child is exposed to smokes at home. In some cases, the doctor analyzes the health data to determine the number of refills or emergency room visits (if any) that the child has had. But all this is just retrospective knowledge with no predictive analytics or proactive strategy.

Although clinical signs of asthma are easy to identify, the condition is much more complex at the cellular and molecular level. The enzymes, proteins, genes, and other asthma triggers are highly diverse. AI allows doctors to diagnose asthma before the patient suffers a few bouts of wheezing. It does so by comparing blood test results against the cellular and molecular markers. This time-saving intelligence frees the doctor's time, so they can focus on patient care during appointments.

AI and clinical care

AI technology is helping doctors and other medical providers make important healthcare decisions with a greater level of accuracy.

AI technology can help the diagnosis of diseases and is currently being used for this reason in hospitals around the globe. Using this technology to research publications and evaluate clinical data could guide doctors in making the right clinical decisions regarding treatment. Potential applications of Artificial Intelligence in clinical care are as follows:

Medical imaging: The technology has shown promising results in detecting eye conditions, pneumonia, and skin and breast cancers. According to a post on The Journal of Medical Health, AI can accelerate the diagnostic process and offer targeted effective treatment. It goes on to state that since radiologists depend on images they've seen before, or experiences they've had in their line of work, they might have a hard time interpreting something different that they've never seen or experienced in their practice.

Machine learning allows them to compare unfamiliar images against large global databanks to get insights on disease trajectory, diagnosis, and treatment options. Machine learning can offer more data by combining different data sources like genomic and longitudinal data along with individual electronic health records.

Robotic Surgery: Surgical adjuncts like image guidance and microscopes give surgeons a physical or mechanical advantage and allow for faster and accurate operations with fewer errors and improved outcomes. Surgical robots can control the depth, trajectory, and speed of movements with great precision. They are particularly effective for procedures that need the same, repetitive movements (like tying knots to close wounds) as they can remain completely still without getting tired.

Screening for neurological conditions: researchers have developed an AI system that can detect different acute neurological conditions in CT scans within seconds. Conditions like hemorrhage, stroke, and hydrocephalus can now be identified quickly with deep learning than through human diagnosis.

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Devices, connected with IoT technology can gather all necessary data about a patient. This data can be fed to an AI interface and analyzed in real-time to help healthcare providers make important decisions with greater insight.

Patient and consumer-facing applications

Patients and medical professionals are taking advantage of vast AI-powered technologies to manage health remotely. From Bluetooth-enabled scales to wearable heart monitors, these medical devices take the patients' health measurements and send these data to doctors to facilitate real-time healthcare decisions. Remote patient tracking technologies automatically monitor and report on patients, often with chronic illnesses so doctors can keep tabs on them - even though virtually. This is made possible in conjunction with Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

Artificial intelligence and medical research

By integrating machine learning to clinical workflows, researchers can perform tasks with greater speed and more accuracy, allowing front-line medical professionals to deliver more effective treatments to patients.

Additionally, AI gives researchers the ability to identify complex associations within datasets faster and more precisely than has been previously possible. In a Stanford study, AI offered a dermatologist-level classification of skin cancer with deep neural networks.

According to this post, the ICGC is profiling up to 20,000 cancer patients at the moment. The organization will combine real-time cancer information on the 350,000 new cases annually England, together with comprehensive clinical data and more than 11 million historical cancer records. With the help of AI, ICGC will be able to provide the international community with comprehensive genomic data for many cancer types.

Again, researchers at the University of Manchester and Cambridge developed AI-powered robots called "Eve" to help optimize the highly involving and expensive drug discovery process. In 2018, the robot scientist, Eve, discovered that a compound commonly found on toothpaste and soap could be effective in treating drug-resistant malaria.

Conclusion 

The effects of AI in healthcare has caught the attention of public and private sectors alike, driving more investment in its development. In Silicon Valley, tech giants like Microsoft, Google, and IBM continue to make a significant investment in AI, while more health-focused AI startups continue to join in.

Statistics project that the global AI in healthcare market size will grow at a CAGR of 41.5% from 2019-2025. The survey further revealed that the growing value of big data in healthcare, increasing the need for affordable healthcare, rising adoption of precision medicine, and declining hardware and supply chain costs were some factors fueling AI growth.