By: James Bourne
Transforming healthcare through technology is no longer the Sisyphean task it once was. Technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) are all helping to drive change, prevent illnesses, and even reshape healthcare IT.
1. Internet of Things
One executive in the mobility industry recently told me that healthcare is a ‘very careful’ market, which traditionally looks at industries such as defence and avionics and follows suit. Yet progress is being made. For the IoT, there are two benefits: assisting diagnosis and making sure treatment is working. With the latter, for example, sensors are now being piloted in intensive care units. In the former, telephone microphones are now being used to develop algorithms which can assess the early stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
2. Artificial Intelligence
AI is a little behind this, but its scope is potentially more wide-ranging. The key here is in terms of the volume of work; and the fact intelligent health assistants get smarter the more work they do. Millions of samples can be analysed in quick time and patterns gleaned from them. Take CATI as a recent example. The system, short for ‘cognitive automation of time lapse images’, can, alongside aneuploidy screening (PGS), improve embryo selection for pregnancy by preventing the misdiagnosis of mosaic embryos.
While these are all fascinating and potentially transformative use cases, they may not stop healthcare from being a risk-averse industry simply due to the sensitivity of the data involved. Blockchain, however, could. By using a secure, distributed ledger, the potential is there to secure patient data in an unprecedented way. There are other benefits too; as one industry executive told me, it will help organisations be more efficient with healthcare budgets, allowing a ‘greater focus on illness prevention rather than cure.’
The combination of blockchain, AI and IoT could therefore be an irresistible one. Patient data secured on the blockchain; AI-enabled assistants and automated health checks cutting time and costs; and millions of ‘things’ connecting the dots and finding better, clearer diagnoses. This is the future of healthcare – and it cannot come soon enough.
(c) istockphoto.com / Antiv3D | deepblue4you
To find out more about the potential of IoT, blockchain and AI, attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo and AI Expo Global 2018 taking place in London’s Olympia on 18-19 April 2018. You can find out more and register for a free pass here. The event will host 12,000 attendees, a free exhibition of 300+ companies, 500+ speakers across 15 conference tracks. The co-located event series will also host events in Amsterdam and Silicon Valley in 2018.
IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo & AI Expo World Series 2018
Global: 18-19 April 2018, Olympia, London
Europe: 1-2 October 2018, RAI, Amsterdam
North America: 28-29 November 2018, Santa Clara, Silicon Valley