THE POWER OF AI AND IoB IN HEALTHCARE: ENHANCING PATIENT CARE AND WELLNESS
December 11, 2023
When considering recent advancements in the healthcare industry, several notable innovations include the use of 3D printing for customized medical implants, robot-assisted surgery, groundbreaking mRNA vaccines, and expansion of healthcare access through telemedicine and remote monitoring.
What supports these healthcare technology advancements? The aforementioned examples rely heavily on vast amounts of data and analysis powered by artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms and the Internet of Behaviors (IoB). This article takes a closer look at how healthcare professionals harness the power of AI and IoB to enhance patient care and wellness.
EARLY AND REMOTE DETECTION OF HEALTH ISSUES
IoB offers a way to understand, predict, and influence human behavior through behavioral science, data analysis, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. AI-driven IoB applications can give healthcare providers a powerful, real-time look into a patient’s health status, sometimes without the patient stepping inside a doctor’s office.
For example, smartwatches and fitness trackers equipped with AI and IoB technology can remotely monitor many health metrics, including heart rate, sleep quality, and activity levels. When such data is transmitted to healthcare providers in real-time, it can enable faster interventions and early detection of irregularities, improving outcomes for all types of patients — especially those managing chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
In another scenario, AI and deep learning algorithms can be leveraged to swiftly process and analyze large volumes of medical images, quickly recognizing what healthy bones and tissue look like. Once trained, this powerful technology can identify minute anomalies or growths that may not be apparent to the human eye. Radiologists are already using solutions like this to enhance medical imaging analysis and detect subtle signs of diseases at an earlier stage, thus enabling timely treatment and improving the prognosis.
PERSONALIZED HEALTHCARE RECOMMENDATIONS
Busy physicians serve many patients with unique medical histories and needs. AI and IoB enable unprecedented personalization in healthcare, supporting these providers as they strive to deliver the best possible care to every patient.
For instance, those newly diagnosed with diabetes may struggle with managing blood sugar levels effectively. Integrating AI and IoB allows healthcare providers to analyze the patient’s health data, including historical glucose readings, dietary habits, exercise regimens, and medication schedules. With this comprehensive view of health data, an AI (smart) device or system can prompt the physician to provide specific, timely recommendations, such as dietary modifications or medication reminders
BENEFITS, PRIVACY CONCERNS, AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
AI and IoB technology has significant benefits for patients and care providers alike, including:
Improved accessibility: Remote monitoring and telehealth solutions expand healthcare access to remote and underserved areas.
Timely interventions: Predictive analytics and deep learning algorithms help identify health risks and enable earlier interventions, improving patient outcomes.
Better disease management: AI-powered personalized treatment plans support effective management of chronic conditions.
Enhanced decision making: Data-driven diagnostic tools inform healthcare professionals’ evidence-based decision-making.
As mentioned, these benefits rely on the collection of vast amounts of information. Given the sensitive nature of personal health data, several privacy and ethical concerns exist when implementing AI and IoB solutions in healthcare settings. Health organizations need strong data security practices, including secure access controls and storage, to protect patient data from breaches and cyber incidents. “Developing and implementing a robust information security program is key in the prevention and mitigation of data security incidents that health organizations may face,” explains Elise Elam, Cyber Law and Policy for Information Technology adjunct professor at Virginia Tech.
Health organizations also must inform patients about the purpose of data collection, its use, and who will have access. Healthcare leaders are responsible for ensuring sensitive health information is handled ethically and responsibly.
To learn more about the fundamentals of information processing involved in the secure storage, retrieval, sharing, and use of healthcare data, consider the Health Information Technology graduate certificate, one of the many graduate certificates offered through the Virginia Tech Master of Information Technology program.
THE FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE TECHNOLOGY
AI and IoB solutions offer many exciting opportunities in healthcare spaces, including remote patient monitoring, personalized health recommendations and treatment plans, and early detection of health issues. More importantly, the benefits impact everyone, from health networks and physicians to patients and their families.
However, precautions must be taken to safeguard sensitive personal data and prevent issues like machine learning bias and data breaches. Through the responsible utilization of AI and the Internet of Behaviors, we have the potential to enhance health outcomes for both individuals and entire communities.
Learn more about the opportunities and benefits of AI and the Internet of Behaviors in healthcare and other industries.
The #3 nationally ranked Virginia Tech's Master of Information Technology degree program and 10 distinct graduate certificate offerings equip students with cutting-edge skills and knowledge in IT, preparing them for leadership roles in technology-driven industries. With a diverse and dynamic curriculum, distinguished faculty, and a strong industry network, our program offers a pathway to career success in the digital age.