Labishetty Sai Charan
Department of Optometry, University Institute of Applied Health Sciences, Chandigarh University, Punjab, India
Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a promising technology with the potential to revolutionise healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes. This comprehensive review explores the transformative impact of AI in the context of healthcare, focusing on its applications, challenges, and potential benefits. By leveraging AI algorithms, advanced data analytics, and machine learning techniques, India has the opportunity to overcome existing healthcare disparities, enhance diagnostic accuracy, optimise resource allocation, improve patient engagement, and strengthen public health interventions. However, significant barriers such as data privacy, ethical considerations, regulatory frameworks, infrastructure limitations, and skill development need to be addressed for AI to fully realise its potential. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of AI in healthcare, highlights successful case studies, and outlines future directions for implementation.
Keywords: Artificial intelligence, healthcare, diagnostic, public health, data privacy
India, with its vast population and diverse healthcare challenges, stands to immensely benefit from the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into its healthcare system. AI offers the potential to overcome limitations and bridge gaps in healthcare delivery, improving outcomes and making healthcare more accessible, efficient, and cost-effective. This review aims to explore the role of AI in transforming healthcare outcomes in India by examining its applications across diagnosis and healthcare management. Additionally, the review identifies challenges and provides recommendations for successful implementation.
DIAGNOSTIC AND IMAGING APPLICATIONS
AI can improve clinical goals like workflow efficiency, reduced reading time, reduced doses and contrast agents, earlier illness identification, higher diagnostic accuracy, and personalised diagnoses1. Artificial intelligence techniques are utilized in healthcare for disease diagnosis, drug development, and patient risk identification, utilizing medical data sources like ultrasound, MRI, and CT scans. These techniques enhance hospital visits and accelerate patients’ home recovery 2. Modern medical imaging tools enable early disease identification, promoting longer and healthier lives for patients. As technological advancements continue, medical diagnostics will become a routine measure and offer healthcare remedies in the future 3.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionised medical image evaluation, enabling precise assessments and reducing doctor workloads. This has reduced errors, time and improved disease prognosis and detection. AI-based algorithms for prediction, diagnosis, and treatment planning significantly impact decision-making processes, enhancing the efficiency of medical image processing in medical image evaluation 4.
CHALLENGES AND LIMITATIONS
Healthcare administrators must consider appropriate and ethical data access procedures when using AI for health. Professional expertise and a foundational understanding are necessary to develop rules for sensitive,
inconsistent, and siloed healthcare data. Access to fast computer capacity is rapidly evolving due to cloud computing research. To create “trusted” AI algorithms, researchers must critically evaluate, investigate, and research challenges when applying algorithms to the real world 5.
DATA PRIVACY AND SECURITY
Ethical considerations in AI algorithms, such as data sharing, consent, and potential bias, are crucial for ensuring fairness and equity in healthcare. AI decisions are systematic and require accountability from the creators and users. Although ethical dilemmas arise, AI is likely to be limited, coexist with, or replace existing systems, ushering in the age of AI in healthcare. Opting not to adopt AI may be immoral and unscientific 7.
Fairness is an ethical ideal that includes equal opportunity, the difference principle, and an equal right to justification. It has both distributive and socio-relational dimensions. AI can contribute to a more equitable society and healthcare ecosystem by creating a society of equals and respect and a fairer distribution of opportunity, especially for the least fortunate 8. The framework for responsible AI initiatives combines AI governance and ethics, focusing on sustainability, human centeredness, inclusivity, fairness, and transparency. The acronym SHIFT represents sustainability, human centeredness, inclusivity, fairness, and transparency. It addresses challenges and issues in ethical AI applications in healthcare and offers directions for future research 9. Utilises approachability, acceptability, availability, affordability, and appropriateness dimensions to understand the intersection of caste, indigenous communities, and healthcare access 10.
Developing robust regulatory frameworks and guidelines specific to AI in healthcare is necessary to ensure the safety, efficacy, and ethical use of AI technologies. Balancing innovation and patient safety should be a priority in regulatory policies to foster responsible adoption and implementation of AI in healthcare. Current mechanisms for AI oversight in healthcare lack recommendations for translational stages and feedback on engagement in AI development. Prioritising patient involvement, clinicians, and end users is crucial for successful AI creation, usage, and assessment in medicine 11. Humans must bear the responsibility for medical AI, as it lacks moral standing under the law. To mitigate risks, regulatory measures should focus on data quality management, algorithm transparency, and overseeing the entire AI industry process. Fostering discussion and evaluation of AI hazards and social repercussions among stakeholders is crucial, as well as improving global cooperation and communication 12.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND DIGITAL DIVIDE
Addressing healthcare infrastructure gaps, including the availability of high-quality data, robust connectivity, and interoperable systems, is crucial for the successful integration of AI into the healthcare ecosystem. Bridging the digital divide and ensuring equitable access to AI-based healthcare solutions are essential to preventing further disparities and improving healthcare outcomes for underserved populations. Public health organizations must develop strategies for using AI to effectively utilize it for public health tasks. Six essential goals include modern data governance, investing in updated infrastructure, addressing workforce skills gaps, creating strategic partnerships, using AI practices for openness and reproducibility, and promoting equity and bias awareness 13. Disparities in health outcomes persist despite new technologies aimed at improving healthcare, resulting in a “digital divide,” where populations with poorer health outcomes continue to have poorer outcomes despite technological improvements 14.
COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
Fostering collaboration between academia, industry, and healthcare providers is necessary to drive research and innovation in AI for healthcare, encouraging interdisciplinary approaches. Supporting research and development initiatives focused on AI-based healthcare solutions can accelerate the adoption and implementation of AI technologies in India. To create lasting academic and industry collaborations, multiple teams must be involved, including scientific, IT, legal, regulatory compliance, business development, and domain specialists. These collaborations should benefit all parties and establish win-win relationships from the beginning15.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT AND TRAINING
Enhancing the skills of healthcare professionals in AI and data science through targeted training programmes can empower them to leverage AI tools effectively. Integrating AI education into medical and healthcare curricula can ensure that future healthcare professionals are well prepared to utilise AI technologies in their practice. Educators must priorities AI training in all health professions to prepare a workforce well-equipped to harness its benefits and navigate its dangers 16.
PUBLIC AWARENESS AND ACCEPTANCE
Promoting public awareness of AI benefits, dispelling misconceptions, and engaging the public in discussions about AI policy-making can foster acceptance and facilitate responsible adoption of AI in healthcare. Ensuring transparency and involving the public in decision making processes related to AI can build trust and promote the responsible use of AI technologies.
The integration of AI has the potential to revolutionise healthcare outcomes in India by enhancing diagnosis, improving treatment, optimising resource allocation, empowering patients, and strengthening public health interventions. However, addressing challenges related to data privacy, ethics, regulation, infrastructure, and skill development is crucial for the successful implementation of AI in Indian healthcare. Collaborative efforts, stakeholder engagement, and strategic planning are necessary to leverage AI’s full potential and drive positive change in healthcare delivery. With a holistic approach and a focus on responsible adoption, AI can significantly improve healthcare outcomes and contribute to the wellbeing of the Indian population.
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ARTICLE TYPE: Review Article; ORCID ID: Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID) ID of corresponding author: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7983-7169 ; ETHICAL: Institutional ethical committee and prior patient consent obtained; ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: None; FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The authors declare that there was no financial aid received.; CONFLICT OF INTEREST: No conflict of interest associated with this research work.; AUTHORS CONTRIBUTION: L.S.C., reviewed and wrote the article for publication.; AUTHORS AFFILIATIONS: Mr. Labishetty Sai Charan, Assistant Professor, Department of Optometry, University Institute of Applied Health Sciences, Chandigarh University, Punjab, India.; CORRESPONDING AUTHOR EMAIL: [email protected]; ARTICLE CITATION Labishetty Sai Charan. Review on the potential for artificial intelligence to revolutionize healthcare diagnostics. SALT J Sci Res Healthc. 2023 June 22; 3(1): 23-26.
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© Labishetty Sai Charan
Originally published in the SALT Journal of Scientific Research in Healthcare (https://saltjsrh.in/), 22.06.2023.
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