By Dr Angshuman Das
New Delhi: The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and its application in everyday life is turning out to be one of the most groundbreaking innovations in human history. This gives credibility to the definition offered by IBM, describing AI as computers, machines, and programmes that have the capabilities to solve problems and make decisions just like the human mind. Simply put, AI means the ability of computers and machines to have and use the kind of intelligence that the human mind has.
Across the world, there are emerging AI start-ups focusing their innovations on mental health and behavioural patterns. From programmes that help people express themselves better and deal with anxiety issues, to those that help to track and improve sleeping patterns. For many individuals, putting their mind to sleep is a challenge and so they suffer from insomnia and other sleeping disorders. For some, no amount of sleep is too much.
Anxiety about work, a planned trip or assignment, stress, poor eating schedule, and poor night-time schedule can all lead to poor sleep or no sleep at all. With adoption of AI on the rise, there are now applications and machines that can help individuals deal with the causes of bad sleeping habits and ensure they get the rest they need.
Emerging AI technologies in sleep medicine
While AI is fast gaining ground across the globe, the rate of penetration differs from country to country. In India, for instance, a new AI-based smart cradle by a start-up is gaining huge popularity. The cradle uses sensors to detect the sleeping patterns and nuances of a baby. But that’s not all, the device is programmed to detect even the slightest waking movement and quickly lull the baby back to sleep. This piece of preemptive and corrective AI tech is groundbreaking and can help address the troubling challenge of sleep amongst babies.
The use of big data in AI has become very instrumental in sleep medicine in recent years in several other ways. Wearable sensors have become a growing topic of discussion and experiment in a bid to help individuals and their practitioners track health records and link digital biomarkers to patients’ health condition. Rather than rely on electronic medical records (EMR), AI can leverage big data to produce higher levels of electronic health records (EHR) through top-tier synchronisation of health parameters, time series, and multi-level bio potentials.
In the broader medical field of sleep disorders and their treatment, AI has also made significant advancements and incursions. With modern AI applications, health practitioners can better understand, diagnose, and manage sleep disorders. AI can augment the process and replace the hectic, time-consuming, and repetitive tasks involved in the polysomnograms scoring process. Not only that, research into the role of sleep and why it is difficult for some people to sleep properly can also be more effective due to the big data that AI can retrieve and analyse.
Improved sleep for improved health
Good sleep is not only necessary for great physical health, but also supports mental wellness. Sleeplessness has been known to affect focus and orientation and can affect productivity tremendously. Hence, the emergence of AI-powered applications is a game changer towards the speedy detection of sleep disorders and finding ways to deal with them. Furthermore, individuals can structure their schedules better, engage AI reminders, and plan their sleep patterns more effectively with the help of AI-based solutions.
Dr Angshuman Das, Consultant Neuropsychiatrist, Apollo Multispecialty Hospitals, Kolkata
(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are sole of the author and ETHealthworld does not necessarily subscribe to it. ETHealthworld.com shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.)