From smartphones to advances in the healthcare industry, technology’s effect on our lives is undeniable. The budding uses of technology are innumerable, especially for healthcare professionals.
According to Keith Dreyer, chief data science officer of Partners HealthCare and vice chairman of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, “Artificial intelligence and machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being programmed by humans […] These powerful tools will one day help us find disease almost before a patient is symptomatic, treat it early, and achieve a higher survival rate with much less patient suffering and at far less cost.” Artificial intelligence has unimaginable potential and it will create a revolution in the field of healthcare too. It has already made much progress in the field of healthcare, from processing X-ray images and detecting cancer to assisting doctors in diagnosing and treating patients. Moreover, the global AI healthcare market is expected to reach $22,790 million by 2023.
According to a recent survey by SAS, the leader in analytics, 47% of people were comfortable with AI assisting doctors in the operating room. Moreover, 61% were comfortable with their doctor using data from wearable devices, such as an Apple Watch or Fitbit, to assess their lifestyle and make recommendations based on that data and more than half of respondents over age 40 were willing to go under the knife with the help of technology, compared with only 40% under age 40.
Will Artificial Intelligence help create job opportunities in the healthcare industry?
According to the new report by Gartner, AI will create 2.3 million jobs in 2020, while eliminating 1.8 million new positions related to analytics, management, or augmented decision-making. It also claimed that 2020 will be a crucial year for AI-related employment dynamics, as AI will become a positive job motivator. However, the number of jobs affected by AI will be different across the industries.
Throughout the year 2019, healthcare, public sector, and education will see a continuous rise in job demand while manufacturing will be hit the hardest. However, as the year 2020 begins, AI-related job creation will cross into positive territory, reaching two million net-new jobs in 2025. Svetlana Secular, research vice president at Gartner explained, “Many significant innovations in the past have been associated with a transition period of temporary job loss, followed by recovery, then business transformation and AI will likely follow this route.”
The bottom line is AI will create many jobs but also eliminate millions of middle- and low-level positions. However, it will also generate millions of more new positions of highly skilled, management and even the entry-level and low-skilled variety.
Similar results were shown in the analysis by accountancy giant PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), where it was revealed that while AI could displace roughly 7 million jobs in the UK, it could also create 7.2 million jobs, resulting in a modest net boost of around 200,000 jobs. It further stated that the number of people employed could rise by almost 1 million, while jobs in manufacturing could fall by roughly 25 percent, a net loss of almost 700,000 roles.
It is also estimated that the increasing demand for AI technologies will lead to the fourth industrial revolution which will favour applicants with strong digital skills, as well as capabilities like creativity and teamwork which machines will find difficult to replicate. This has led to the government being propelled to invest more in ‘STEAM’ skills that will be most useful to people in this fast-growing automated world. This will result in more focus on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), but also exploring how art and design (the ‘A’ in ‘STEAM’) can feature at the heart of innovation. Workers are required to continuously update and adapt their skills to complement what new machines and technology can achieve.
A Purdue University-affiliated start-up developing a platform using Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to encourage students to learn about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) has received grants totaling $275,000. The technology enables children to experience hands-on science through gameplay.
Accenture Research recently conducted a study that concluded the future of workforce trends, including in healthcare, and the date indicated a notable growth for the industry, both in terms of jobs and revenues. The data predict that, from 2018 to 2022, employment in health care will increase by 15% while revenues will surge by 49%. Much of this growth will depend upon the three new ways in which smart machines will enable humans to improve performance.
The first one is “amplifying” a person’s natural abilities and enhancing their insight and intuition through the use of powerful analytics and copious historical data, the second way is by interacting with people through novel types of interfaces such as voice, emotion, or gesture recognition, and the third way is how smart machines are helping humans by embodying physical attributes that work to extend people’s capabilities beyond their natural limits.
Undoubtedly, there is no other industry hat AI has touched so heavily as the healthcare industry. It all comes down to letting the medical practitioners do best what they are good at creativity, and let the machines do what they do great: precision and routine tasks as this will create a win-win situation for everyone involved. According to Accenture analysis, when combined, key clinical health AI applications can potentially create $150 billion in annual savings for the US healthcare economy by 2026.
AI in healthcare deals with multiple technologies enabling machines to sense, comprehend, act and learn so they can perform administrative and clinical healthcare functions. The nature of work and employment is changing rapidly and AI provides a way to fill this gap in the labour shortage by alleviating the burden on clinicians and give workers tools to do their jobs better. Not only AI, but disruptive technologies such as robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT) are changing healthcare, medicine, and pharmacy, as well as the way we gather medical information and how we interact with medical professionals and caregivers.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the healthcare industry will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the job-creation curve as AI and robotics become mainstream in the healthcare ecosystem.
About author: Eric Lyons is PR strategist and writer at OPTnation, with extensive professional management experience in the public and private sectors.