Machine Learning in Healthcare: 5 Major Benefits and Applications


Machine learning, one of the most popular technologies of the 21st century, has seen exponential growth across multiple industries. Finance, banking, customer service, and healthcare among others are a few significant contributors to the increasing popularity of machine learning throughout the world. Now, machine learning, except for its applications, has also offered plenty of benefits to each sector it joined. 

However, in this blog, we are only focusing on how the healthcare sector uses machine learning technology to make its services more efficient. Furthermore, we are throwing some light on the popular applications and benefits of machine learning technology for the healthcare industry. So, stay with us until the end of this blog for some amazing insights. 

Five applications of machine learning in healthcare

Moving forward, we are listing down five major applications of machine learning in the healthcare industry that you often come across. Without further ado, let’s begin!

1. AI-driven healthcare diagnosis

One of the major applications of machine learning in healthcare is increasing the speed of detecting disease in the patient. Machine learning can use data such as x-ray images, ultrasounds, medical history, symptoms, etc to fast forward the process of detecting diseases. This process is used by Scripps Research Institute, California with a partnership with Intel to identify 23 patients with high cardiovascular disease risks. Results came out with 85% of accuracy. 

2. Pharmaceutical researches

To reduce the wastage of research resources and time invested, machine learning is coming out to be a super useful tool for the pharmaceutical industry. These companies have started filtering out possible outcomes that won’t benefit the research by using machine learning algorithms and their predictive analysis nature. This has helped experts in finding out faster medicines or vaccines that have the highest probability of being successful.

3. Medical studies

The evolution of machine learning has also made it a crucial part of the education sector. Medical students, today, have the privilege of using ML and AI in healthcare to leverage much smarter ways of learning. These ML algorithms are helpful in demonstrating the real consequences of treatments and prescriptions suggested by the learner. Through an animated sequence, machine learning can provide almost accurate insights into what can happen in the reality. However, this application is still not used commonly by colleges to teach students and its reliability is still in the testing process.

4. Virtual assistant

Machine learning technology is also used in chatbots to provide patients and users with smarter assistance. The goal of mhealth startups and enterprises is to ensure that users have 24/7 access to an assistance chatbot that can solve the majority of queries without any delays. These machine learning algorithms help chatbots in recognizing keywords and finding solutions to queries faster and more efficiently. Moreover, for voice-supported chatbots, recognizing accents and pronunciations also get easier due to machine learning.

5. Record maintenance

Machine learning also helps in maintaining records and to find them easily. As most of the work is done digitally now, machine learning enables healthcare professionals to sync and manage records smoothly. There are plenty of tools such as Tally, Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, etc adopted machine learning to allow handy tools to let users manage their records. Machine learning makes it easier to find, bulk edit, delete and do much more with records within less time compared to a decade back.

Benefits of machine learning in the healthcare industry

Now, after going through these applications of machine learning in the healthcare industry, it is time to look at the benefits of machine learning that the healthcare industry leverages. Let’s begin!

1. Personalization

One of the most popular benefits of machine learning technology is its ability to offer the personalization of services. In the healthcare industry, personalization can refer to offering personalized treatment recommendations, fitness products, exercise tips, healthcare expert recommendations, etc. The personalization factor is also used in chatbots to help in making them more advanced and interactive. 

2. Cybersecurity

As the healthcare industry has adopted digitization on a huge scale, it has become to ensure the security of the data stored on servers. Thus, machine learning is used to scan servers continuously, detect any cyberattack attempts, raise alerts for cyber attacks, etc. This benefit enables responsible authorities to take quick action.

3. Cost-cutting

As mentioned above under applications, pharmaceutical companies are using machine learning to save resources. These saved resources are also benefiting organizations monetarily and they are able to save money spent on wasted resources. It also helps them in achieving more productivity with better quality. 

4. Robotic surgeries

Surgeries are delicate and some procedures require much more carefulness compared to others. So, robotic surgery came into existence and machine learning put life into these robots. Even if they are not fully automated, for tasks that can be super delicate for human doctors to perform surgeries, robots are used.

5. Clinical predictions

As there are plenty of viruses and diseases detected every now and then which did not even exist or were known to humanity before, machine learning helps researchers in detecting their evolutions. In other words, with the help of machine learning, experts are able to find out if the disease can have more evolved variants in the future. Covid is the perfect example of the same as its possible variants were predicted once the disease turned into a pandemic. Machine learning played a crucial role into countering this disease as well.

Wrapping Up

Machine learning does not stop evolving and yet, we still have not unlocked its full potential yet. For the healthcare industry, technology is turning out to be a blessing and as time passes, we are sure to see more and more examples of the technology. However, for now, in this blog we tried to cover a maximum of applications and benefits for your understanding. Hopefully, this blog on machine learning in the healthcare industry was helpful.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.