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Is the future of women’s health safe in the hands of artificial intelligence? | Vopbuzz.com

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, health care facilities continue to face workflow challenges and resource constraints, with women’s health being particularly impacted.

Can AI Really Close the Gaps in Women’s Healthcare?

Specialties such as breast radiology and cytology face significant research backlogs, making timely diagnosis and treatment difficult.

Artificial intelligence (AI) offers a promising solution to these problems. For more than a decade, AI has been making strides in healthcare, offering innovative alternatives to improve patient outcomes when all else fails.

As AI technologies advance, they show great potential to improve detection capabilities, reduce latency, and streamline workflows. This, in turn, could significantly improve access to preventive care for women, which is critical to improving women’s health worldwide.

We are literally on the verge of unprecedented technological change: artificial intelligence is poised to revolutionize various industries.

image by LiliGraphie

image by LiliGraphie

How can AI tools be integrated into healthcare?

AI involves programming machines to mimic human cognitive functions, allowing them to recognize patterns, make predictions, and even generate new content such as text, images, audio, and video. Generative AI (GenAI), a subset of AI, excels at creating new content based on learned data patterns.

The integration of AI across sectors is streamlining operations, increasing efficiency, and cultivating much-needed reorganization. Its impact on healthcare is particularly profound, with the potential to reimagine various aspects of the industry. By addressing long-standing gaps and disparities, AI is likely to play a key role in improving women’s healthcare, enabling more timely and accurate diagnoses and ultimately improving patient outcomes.

Despite women making up 51% of the world’s population, products and services specifically designed for women’s health continue to lag behind. According to a McKinsey report, women spend an average of nine years in poor health—a whopping 25% more time than men. As a result, productivity and earning potential both suffer.

Artificial intelligence (AI) shows great potential to solve major problems in healthcare and accelerate the creation of products and services for women. For example, the European Council’s recommendation to use digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) for breast cancer screening has increased the number of images that radiologists must review. AI tools like Hologic’s 3DQuorum imaging technology can help by minimizing the number of images to review. This technology creates high-quality, overlapping 6mm SmartSlices without compromising image quality, sensitivity, or accuracy. Using SmartSlices reduces the workload of radiologists by two-thirds, saving them about an hour of interpretation time each day.

Breast screening images typically require a second reader to ensure accuracy, which increases the workload of radiologists. AI can take on this role by effectively identifying problem areas in mammograms, thereby speeding up the screening process, allowing radiologists to work more efficiently without sacrificing accuracy.

AI capabilities can significantly improve women’s healthcare by addressing key issues, improving diagnostic accuracy, and streamlining medical imaging processes. This not only helps healthcare providers, but also ensures that women receive timely and accurate diagnostics, leading to better overall health outcomes.

Every day, we are getting closer to a healthcare system that is fully digitized and powered by artificial intelligence. Advances in remote readings are opening the door for facilities in remote or underserved areas to access top-notch imaging and diagnostic services without logistical hurdles. For women who travel long distances for screening, AI can play a critical role in triage. Previously, radiologists had to interrupt their workflow to quickly review the results for these patients. Now, AI tools can flag problem areas in real time, allowing radiologists to prioritize complex cases. This technology is especially useful in breast and cervical cancer screening, ensuring that patients with urgent needs receive a timely diagnosis, thereby improving their overall healthcare experience.

The road ahead

The role of AI in healthcare will grow significantly in the coming years. Innovation must include the use of these advanced algorithms, especially to make progress in women’s health. Current technologies are already helping to close the screening gap for breast and cervical cancer and improve early detection capabilities. Companies at the forefront of this movement must continually improve their technologies to improve patient care, with a focus on inclusivity and accessibility, so that women everywhere can benefit from these advances.

Healthcare is a massive global industry valued at $12 trillion. According to Binarks, the global AI healthcare market was valued at $16 billion in 2022 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 40.2% to reach $173.5 billion by 2029. The integration of AI into healthcare is rapidly advancing, offering the potential to significantly improve patient care, reduce costs, and accelerate medical research.

Our current healthcare systems are under enormous strain and could collapse at any moment. There is an urgent need to move away from a volume-based model focused on budgets, business models and waiting lists to a more holistic approach focused on preventive medicine.

AI plays a critical role in this new proposed paradigm, helping to create a more efficient, effective and accessible healthcare system for all.

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