AI is making an impact in industries across the globe – and healthcare is no different. In fact, AI funding was up 108% in 2021, with the healthcare industry accounting for nearly a fifth of this total. From robotic surgeries to diagnostic support to the development of new drugs, AI offers a broad spectrum of functionality.
AI can also play a transformational role when it comes to controlling hospital heating, lighting, and air conditioning (HVAC). At Arloid, we develop the deploy the most advanced AI on the planet to ensure hospitals across the world achieve the optimum thermal conditions for their patients and staff.
In this blog, we provide an overview of some of the innovative applications of AI in hospitals.
Many hospitals are enlisting the support of AI when it comes to performing operations. These robotic surgeons are capable of analysing pre-operative medical data and insights gained from previous operations to guide instruments with the utmost accuracy. As a result, patients receive minimally invasive surgery with the smallest possible incisions, enabling them to recover more quickly. In fact, AI assisted surgery has been found to have fewer complications and reduce the length of hospital stays by 21%.
AI is capable of managing patient flow to ensure everyone gets treated in a timely manner. It does this through a range of different functionalities, including tracking available rooms and beds, analysing when the hospital is particularly busy, and arranging for enough staff to be on shift. By optimising the influx of patients through the waiting room, AI is helping to provide better, more streamlined access to healthcare.
The development of new pharmaceuticals is a highly inefficient process. It can take around 12 years for a new drug to reach patients; only 5 in 5,000 drugs that begin pre-clinical testing make it to human testing, and only 1 drug out of these 5 is actually approved for use. AI is becoming increasingly critical in the development of drugs, capable of assisting at every stage of the process – from drug discovery to formulation to screening, manufacturing, and distribution. Not only can this technology predict potential protein interactions, chemical reactions, and toxicity levels, but it can also assemble patients for clinical trials.
There are many tasks carried out in hospitals that can be automated with the help of AI. From laundry to dispensing to food delivery to updating patient records, many activities don’t require the active input of human member of staff. By implementing AI automation for these purposes, nurses and doctors will have more time available to dedicate to human-to-human care – improving the patient experience. AI can also do things like review test results, allowing doctors to spend their time handling more complex cases.
Keeping medical records up to date is critical in hospitals, but it’s also incredibly time consuming. Instead, AI can take the burden – recognising and scanning handwritten forms, streamlining the process of switching from paper based to online systems. Some AI is even being used to transcribe conversations between doctors and patients in real time, and analyse what’s being said to inform and support the doctor’s assessment.
AI is also proving integral to accurate and efficient diagnostics. In oncology, for example, diagnosis can be complex and prone to human error. By utilising AI technology to analyse tissue samples for cancerous cells, the risk of misdiagnosis can be minimised. In fact, a study assessing AI diagnostics of breast cancer patients found that the rate of error reduced by 85%. More than that, AI has been used to review mammograms up to 30 times faster than humans, with 99% accuracy.
Image analysis is another way in which AI can effectively diagnose conditions and recommend the next steps. Everything from MRI to CT scans can be reviewed using AI technology at a speed unrivalled by humans, offering real time assessment and therefore faster access to treatment. This analysing capacity can also contribute to telemedicine – which is at the forefront of the decentralised hospital of the future. Patients can send in photographs of everything from rashes to cuts to burns for review, and AI can determine what care is required.
AI is much more adept at recognising patterns than humans can, enabling them to scan a vast amount of data on patient behaviour and medical history to identify people at risk of developing certain conditions, as well as the lifestyle factors that contribute to illness. As such, AI is becoming instrumental in preventative healthcare – helping to create healthier societies overall.
In hospitals, effective temperature control is crucial. Not only does an underperforming HVAC system compromise the conditions of operating rooms, morgues, and other sensitive areas, but it can also have implications for patient recovery times. Trained via Deep Reinforcement Learning, AI is able to proactively control hospital HVAC and maintain the optimum conditions for each area of the building – splitting it into distinct thermal zones. Doing so guarantees performance, and also offers tangible energy savings of up to 30%. With healthcare buildings increasingly looking to minimise their energy spend and carbon footprint, AI is here to provide the solution.