In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become clear that vaccine distribution can dramatically affect the containment of a global virus. Health care organizations are fighting an uphill battle when it comes to delivering vaccines to people in need. Whether it’s overcoming hesitancy or keeping up with demand, it’s a daunting task.
Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) could be the missing pieces needed to improve vaccination delivery. Health care workers are tirelessly caring for patients who’ve fallen ill and helping prevent the spread of this coronavirus among their co-workers.
AI is the bridge that will connect health care and technology. If these processes can be automated, nurses and doctors can spend more time caring for patients and vaccinating communities.
Here’s some of the technology available in the health care industry and how AI can improve operations. (Read also: How AI in Healthcare is Identifying Risks and Saving Money.)
Current Technology and Health Care
The AI sector is expected to see rapid growth in the coming years. Revenues in the industry are forecast to reach more than $500 billion by 2024.
Until the nuances of AI are fully fleshed out, it’s challenging to know how AI can be applied in various industries. Processes in the health care sector, like updating records and obtaining insurance information from patients, lend themselves to be automated. What if bots can be used instead?
One company at the forefront of combining AI and health care is UneeQ. This platform allows for the creation and customization of digital humans. It won’t be long until a patient just leaving the operating room is greeted by one of these human assistants.
There are three key components to address when AI is used in health care:
Diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
Patient engagement and adherence.
There’s more work to be done — AI is not yet capable of performing open-heart surgery! However, there are plenty of ways it can improve the state of the health care industry.
In the first half of June, 2021, just over half of the US population were at least partially vaccinated against the coronavirus. With the help of bots and other ML programs, that number can increase.
Bots (not to be confused with robots ) refer to software programs that optimize and streamline processes for health care organizations. This software can transform daily work activities for nurses, doctors and other health care professionals if implemented. (Read also: How Big Data Can Revolutionize Home Healthcare.)
Health care organizations are already using bots to help schedule appointments, leave messages for providers and request information from medical records. AI-powered bots should take care of minor tasks — specific medical issues require close attention that a human doctor best provides.
The Benefits of AI, ML and Bots in Vaccine Delivery
Before immunizing people against COVID-19, it was a task in and of itself to spread the word about vaccinations. Many companies have implemented data-backed outreach programs to educate people on vaccine efficacy properly.
Stories of people losing out on securing vaccine appointments were common during the vaccine rollout a few months ago. As a result, some saw it as an opportunity to use AI to find a solution.
In this case, two teenagers created a bot that scanned websites for available vaccine appointments, making it much easier to schedule a time to get vaccinated. This one example of innovation shows how using bots and AI can benefit the health care industry.
Another way for health care organizations to use AI is to build a blockchain. This trending technology can be used to store sensitive information. When health care professionals incorporate a blockchain into their systems, more details about who receives the vaccine and when becomes available. This information is valuable — and the best part is that blockchain technology is decentralized, so it’s safe and secure to use in a health care setting.
In addition to improved tracking, using blockchain allows organizations to monitor the storage and production of vaccines. With machines doing the work, there’s less room for human error.(Read also: Top 20 AI Use Cases: Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.)
Machine learning in radiology is now common practice. Machines integrated with deep learning technology can scan images and detect anomalies that humans may overlook. For patients, this could mean the difference between terminal illness or catching an irregularity when it is still treatable.
Using bots to assist with finding and scheduling appointments has proven to be successful. Still, there are other ways to improve the process. The execution of proper outreach programs allows vaccines to roll out more efficiently, and educating the public and targeting high-risk populations is vital in doing so.
Accurate reporting, one-on-one patient interactions, scheduling assistance and creating blockchains are possible ways for AI to be used in the health care sector.
Improving Vaccine Delivery
It’s difficult to find any downsides to utilizing current AI technology to strengthen the health care industry. Other than improving delivery, these methods of using AI can reduce vaccine hesitancy. When organizations upgrade their technology to be more sophisticated, the public’s level of trust may increase as a result.
AI, ML and bot technology are advancing, and determining how to apply them to this industry is crucial. Caring for patients is a priority for health care professionals, and AI will make it easier for them to do their jobs successfully.