As hospitals around the world fill to capacity with coronavirus patients, medical professionals have dedicated their time, safety, and even lives to serve those affected and minimize the spread. Now as the vaccine is released and the public begins to anticipate life beyond the pandemic, isn’t it high time to compensate those who laid down their lives to get us to this point? Augmented intelligence (AI), as opposed to artificial intelligence, is a system meant to work cooperatively with humans to better the institutions already in place. John Nosta, a WHO technology expert on the Google Health Advisory Board, suggests that “the cognitive burden and physical challenges [of healthcare] must be met by the inculcation of technology into clinical practice” in order to not only survive, but to thrive. Apploi is a strong believer that AI technology is the key to subsiding the strain on front line workers who have already given all of themselves during these dark days. In their 2021 healthcare trends report, they outline an ingenious proposal to increase the use of AI technology in the healthcare industry in order to actualize their combined synergy.
AI technology use is actually not as outlandish as some may think. In fact, “AI has already been adopted in many ways in healthcare unbeknownst to patients”, primarily in the form of electronic health records. The way that Apploi plans to take it a step further is by utilizing patient generated data to create the most effective, personalized treatment protocols. The data would have to come from a “variety of sources [such as]: monitoring devices, online purchasing habits, insurers, employers, calendars, and various other data points” which some may consider to be an alarming violation of privacy. However, all of that information is “already generating daily on [the] devices” that are already being used. The only true difference would be that all of that data could go inexplicably far in advancing personalized, medical treatment plans simply by allowing providers to access it.
The installation of AI technology would also exponentially decrease the opportunity for human bias and error, which is an important aspect even in environments that don’t regularly balance life or death decisions. “[C]ognitive capacity, fatigue, [and] social biases” are all universal factors that come with being human, (whether one is willing to admit it or not) and can substantially impact the quality of care that a patient receives which in turn could very well go on to influence whether said patient lives or dies. In these last months alone the demand on healthcare professionals has been astounding, so agreeing to implement an AI system capable of taking on even a fraction of that strain should not take much consideration whatsoever.
As the end draws closer It is more important than ever that adequate time is taken to audit the systems that were hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan proposed by Apploi requires the improvement on the AI systems that are already in place, which makes it the most ideal part to start with.