AI to give doctors more time with patients says NHS

New report predicts that the growing use of AI, smart speakers, robotics and genome sequencing in healthcare will lead to enhanced patient care

11Feb

The increased development and use of AI, robotics and smart speakers will not only ease health providers' workload, but would mean that doctors have considerably more time to spend with patients, according to a recently published report from the UK's National Health Service (NHS).

The report, which looked into the pending "technological revolution" in healthcare, also noted the importance of digitalizing healthcare systems and called for fresh education for staff, in addition to predicting that 90% of NHS jobs would require digital skills within 20 years. The review also assured that robots will not leave human practitioners out of a job for the time being, as technology will only enhance their roles.

Smart speakers such as Amazon's Alexa and Google's Siri were also identified as technologies that have the potential to majorly impact caregiving. The report noted voice assistants would be a "valuable tool" when it comes to updating patient records and other admin tasks, allowing doctors to focus on providing care.

Another key factor that would spur healthcare advances, according to the report, would be developments that allow the sequencing of human genomes, giving health providers access to the entirety of a patient's genetic data.

"Over the next 20 years, three changes will inevitably happen," said Eric Topol, the US academic who led the report. "More and more people will have their genome sequenced; patients will generate and interpret much more of their own health data at home; and the speed, accuracy and scalability of medical data interpretation from AI will grow exponentially."

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