3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Enrich Your LifeOctober 13, 2020
With technology so integrated in our daily lives, chances are you use a “smart” device many times a day — if not several times an hour. Ninety-six percent of Americans own a mobile phone, 21 percent use a smartwatch or fitness tracker, and one-in-four adults owns a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo, according to the Pew Research Center. Our mobile phones can provide instant search results or driving directions and even answer trivia questions. We use our smart watches to get heart rate alerts and our smart home devices to play music on-demand.
All of these conveniences rely on what is called artificial intelligence (AI), in which computers process large amounts of data and make recommendations based on the results. From doctor visits to using health benefits, AI is changing the way people receive care and manage their health.
Here are three ways AI is changing your health care:
1. Helping Doctors Provide Better Care
Thanks to AI-powered algorithms, doctors can examine health outcomes from many, many people around the world, allowing them to use group data to improve individual personalized care plans. For example, cancer treatments known as immunotherapy (where the immune system is activated to attack cancer cells) may soon be customized based on a person’s unique genetic profile.
From dental procedures to plastic surgery, AI can aid doctors with making patient-specific decisions and detection. For example, “AI will aid with diagnostic accuracy, preoperative virtual planning, disease progression, and postoperative monitoring,” according to the Aesthetic Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Even the data collected at home can help your doctor interpret health trends. Weigh-ins, blood sugar screenings or other at-home measurements are easily shared with a nurse, health coach or doctor. With results uploaded in real-time, your provider can quickly adjust your plan of care.
2. Monitoring Your Well-Being
AI is also improving the ability to track well-being metrics, putting you more in tune with caring for both mind and body. This is most common in smart watches and apps on mobile devices.
Some examples include:
- Tracking step counts or exercises and interacting with a virtual fitness or health coach;
- Recommendations for and participating in a wellness challenge;
- Monitoring sleep quality or sleep patterns;
- Alerts when you are in an environment that is too loud or could damage hearing; and
- Reminders to stand, breathe, meditate or take a quick walk if you’ve been sedentary for a certain time.
3. Accessing Health Benefits Information
Need to check the cost of a procedure? Health plan apps, like Sydney Health, allow you to easily view this information. Feeling ill? A symptom checker can provide more direction and assist in easing the stress of getting into a busy doctor’s office or using telemedicine.
AI health technology uses voice activation technology through devices like smart watches and smart home speakers. For example, Anthem has introduced Anthem Skill to members of its commercial medical and dental plans. After connecting their account, members can simply ask Alexa to:
- Order a new member ID card;
- Check the balance of their health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement account (HRA);
- Schedule a call with Member Services;
- Find a doctor;
- Refill or check the status of any prescription;
- Check a claim status; and
- Explain commonly confused health care terms from a glossary of more than 200 definitions.
Exciting advancements in technology through AI are making health care more robust, convenient and accessible. With new research emerging every day, it is safe to say even greater advances are just around the corner.