The world is now finally reeling back from the pandemic and normalcy has started to set in. But the pandemic has also exposed many pressing issues that have plagued the healthcare system across the globe and has amplified its effects. The Global healthcare sector has now started to act by way of technology to combat inefficiencies in the system. It is estimated that there has been a 3X growth in the last 3 years in VC backed funding in the health tech space underscoring the demand for such nascent technologies in the healthcare sector. The advent of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) has transformed the way we live, consume information and interact. Today, Artificial Intelligence is being deployed in every field and its relevance in healthcare is already altering the overall patient experience, and how pharmaceuticals and hospitals operate. Especially in hospitals, the application of AI is a crucial area of innovation.
There is no denying the fact that the application of AI in healthcare has increased dramatically over the past years and hospitals are incorporating new technologies like Machine Learning and Big Data in their day-to-day operations. Rather AI became the key during the Covid-19 pandemic and remained one of the key technologies to manage healthcare during the crisis.
AI will also ensure centralized command centers, and location data to monitor supply and demand across networks in real-time.
Enhanced patient and staff experience
Experiences are relatively important in today’s ever-connected world. Experiences build trust in the hearts of patients and help hospital staff deliver quality services to their patients. AI enables a plethora of these experiences which include using AI to check imaging to reduce the time between patient testing and diagnosis while also helping reduce occurrences of misdiagnosis. This can also reduce misdiagnosis to minimalistic levels
Monitoring of patients by cameras and sensors to reduce the risk of falls for vulnerable patients and active monitoring of patients to alert healthcare providers to any clinical changes also help in enhancing the patient experience at modern hospitals. Other solutions that help healthcare professionals in providing these experiences include solutions like reducing the risks inherent in the healthcare supply chain with IoT and Edge technology, such as keeping drugs at the right temperature and identifying counterfeit products.
Providing quality healthcare to isolated rural areas through portable Edge computing devices, which can gather, store, generate, and analyze critical patient data without needing to be in constant contact with a network infrastructure is another such solution that helps ease the burden on the healthcare system.
Today’s building automation systems have more memory available than ever before. This increases the system’s ability to compile more data. Better analysis of data allows hospital officials to offer regulators complete and detailed reports surrounding both the rate of air changes in rooms and the rate of energy consumption. Data analytics tools also help facilities staff to work with trending data in order to optimize building performance through data-driven system adjustments.
Predictive Care with AI:
AI and predictive analysis can play a vital role in understanding varied factors in our lives that influence our health, not just when we might get flu but also things relating to where we were born, what we eat, the local air pollutions levels where we work or stay, whether we access to save housing and even our income. All these factors have been defined as “the social determinants of health (SDOH)” by the World Health Organization. With advanced AI in the future, doctors and healthcare systems will be able to anticipate when a person is at risk of developing a chronic disease and suggest preventive measures before they get worse. Hundreds of millions of inpatients are affected, with 7% in developed countries and 10% in developing countries acquiring at least one related infection. In intensive care units (ICU) the number increases even further, with 30% of patients likely to catch an infection, even in the most advanced healthcare systems. But the question of how can building automation systems help deter the spread of infection in hospital environments arises.
Infections are essentially caused by micro-organisms originating from another patient either by direct contact or through a contaminated hospital environment. Such infections go largely unreported. While improved surveillance and reporting are crucial, new technology is being designed to reduce the spread and impact of HCAI.
Real time, real results
In a hospital, IT/OT integration enables medical devices to exchange and share patient information through IoT connections for real-time visibility, resulting in better patient analysis and outcomes. As per estimates almost every third of smart devices currently in the market are in healthcare buildings.
This explains why the branch of the IoT that supports healthcare is increasingly known as the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). It links and captures data from devices such as online pulse oximeters, heartrate monitors and insulin pumps.
At a practical level, IoT-powered intelligent patient solutions can give patients better control over their environmental preferences and easier access to care information such as doctor’s appointments. IoT also enables the creation of environments that are more responsive to patients and staff.
Power Reliability and Cybersecurity: Why Change attitude?
Healthcare organizations (as well as businesses in other industries) approach power management reactively rather than proactively. The tendency to react, rather than plan and anticipate, the attention it deserves only after an incident or crisis. Fortunately, digitization and AI are making it easier to take a more proactive, prepare and preempt the kinds of power-related challenges their facilities are likely to encounter—to build resilience– health systems should consider evolving diagnostic and preventive technologies and innovations such as microgrids, power automation, power events analysis and condition-based maintenance
Power quality is also becoming more polluted. The power electronics present in digital devices generate harmonics and as equipment and devices become smaller and more digitized, they also become more sensitive to damage from poor power quality. Healthcare organizations needs to investigate the types of equipment and digital applications that can help them mitigate these problems and achieve and maintain
Most information technology (IT) services within hospital organizations are vulnerable to cybersecurity issues with Hospital Information System comprising of patient files and medical data + Hospital operations technology systems (biomedical systems). These systems are critical because they guarantee the overall service continuity of the hospital infrastructure including power supply, air renewal, and safety and security management. high quality power throughout their electrical network. With digital services, experts monitor your facilities 24/7 using advanced analytics to identify areas for optimization (e.g., energy efficiency, costs, decarbonization) while helping to avoid cyberattacks risks to your infrastructure.
AI offers an integrated and comprehensive range of expertise in each healthcare facility domain – from power and building systems to data centres, cybersecurity, microgrid, and more.
It all starts with smart infrastructure.
Bhupesh Arora, Business Head, Digital Energy, Schneider Electric India
(DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely 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.)