Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing our world by transforming how we do things. Its use is evident in healthcare, manufacturing, entertainment, and defense, among other industries. AI is indeed streamlining workflow in health facilities, improving the delivery of home care services. According to research, the market of healthcare AI is expected to reach $102.9 billion by 2028, up from $14.6 billion in 2023. This has made home healthcare services more affordable, accessible, and effective. This impact is expected to last for good.
The Long-Term Potential of AI in Home Health?
AI can potentially revolutionize home health for good, and it’s already making its presence felt. So far, we’ve seen wearables that can track users’ health data and digital assistants that help patients make appointments, interact with health professionals and manage medications from home.
Let’s explore how AI will improve home health care in the long term.
Provide Accurate Diagnosis
The rise of home health AI brings endless possibilities to every aspect of the health industry. Previously, doctors could misdiagnose patients or delay their diagnosis worsening the condition. Sometimes, patients die before getting a correct diagnosis.
This situation has greatly changed with the introduction of artificial intelligence. While AI cannot replace doctors, it complements their work – it makes faster and more accurate diagnoses, especially for rare diseases.
AI helps diagnose certain health conditions by analyzing patient data and medical records. It can identify patterns and correlations in patient data that human doctors may not recognize. This can improve patient outcomes.
For example, according to the National Institute of Health, AI deep learning can diagnose scalp disease by 99%, Alzheimer’s and skin disease by 96%, diabetes by 95.7%, and arrhythmia by 99.37%. However, there’s room for improvement, so doctors should not rely solely on AI for diagnosis.
If AI can detect a health condition early, it enables early treatment and prevents complications caused by delayed intervention.
AI can analyze a patient’s medical history, symptoms, and test results and use the information to develop a personalized treatment plan. AI can also identify whether a treatment is working and suggest changes based on patient needs.
Furthermore, home health AI can offer effective support for people suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. For example, you can monitor your blood pressure using a wearable blood pressure check and send the data to your health care for review. If your condition is not improving, they can adjust your treatment accordingly.
The new AI-powered insulin pump for patients with diabetes is a technology worth nothing. Developed by Diabeloop, this insulin delivery system is sometimes known as a closed-loop insulin delivery system or artificial pancreas. This system automatically adjusts your insulin dosages based on blood sugar levels, physical activity, and other factors. Insulin pumps from other developers, such as Insulet or Tandem, can combine with Dexcom CGM to create a hybrid system.
Remote Patient Monitoring
AI plays a significant role in remote patient monitoring. This is made possible by the use of sensors and wearables to collect data on vital signs and other health markers. The AI algorithms can then analyze this data in real time to detect any changes or potential health issues. This information is then sent to healthcare providers for timely interventions.
An excellent example of home health AI is Biovital from Biofourmis. Biovitals is a real-time platform that uses wearables and sensors to monitor a patient’s health data, such as vital signs. It then provides insights to healthcare providers on a patient’s health status, making it suitable for continuous monitoring. This enables healthcare providers to make timely interventions and adjust treatment plans as necessary.
Virtual Nurse Assistants
On top of wearables, virtual nurse assistants can be an excellent way to boost home health care. Virtual nurse assistants offer a range of services to patients via the internet. They provide health information and education, schedule appointments, and reminders for medication and treatments.
Remote monitoring ensures that patients get the care they need on time. Furthermore, it can help to reduce the number of hospital visits and readmission rates, which can save both time and money.
Home health AI can also come as a voice assistant. We have seen apps like Amazon, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri help accomplish simple tasks like setting timers, switching off lights, and adding items to to-do lists.
Likewise, voice assistants can provide patients with health information, schedule appointments, and provide medication reminders. They can also monitor vital signs and help with emergency responses. Furthermore, voice assistants can provide companionship, thus reducing loneliness, especially among the elderly.
Using home health AI predictive medicine analytics, health providers can gather vast amounts of data and identify patterns that would otherwise be undetectable. The AI can then analyze patient data, including their medical and family history, to determine if there’s an increased risk of developing a specific condition. For example, heart disease can be predicted through biomarkers such as genetics, age, diet, stress levels, etc.
Making such predictions with the help of AI allows more accurate information about a patient’s health, which can lead to early intervention and prevent hospitalization.
Patient Adherence and Engagement
Adherence and engagement are among the top challenges when providing home healthcare. According to research, nonadherence to medications accounts for about 10% to 25% of healthcare admissions. It also contributes to 125,000 deaths annually. Adherence refers to the ability of a patient to follow recommendations provided by their healthcare professionals. These may include behavioral changes, lifestyle changes, or following a particular diet. Ensuring that patients stick to their daily routine can only be possible if there is communication between the patient and the provider – this is where AI comes in.
AI-powered virtual assistants can ease patient, caregiver, and healthcare provider communication. The providers can collect, analyze and share data with their patients, improving patient adherence to medications and treatment.
Patients often don’t have a solid grasp of their health conditions because of a lack of health literacy. With current healthcare systems often seeming uncaring toward patients’ wants and needs, many medical professionals don’t give patients all the facts they need to make educated decisions about their own health and well-being. For this reason, patients may feel helpless or uncertain about making some decisions, even when presented with all the facts. This is where adequate engagement comes in.
Engagement refers to the ability to involve the patients in treatment decisions with the intent of improving patient literacy and adherence. Patient engagement strategies using AI can also include:
- Reminders for medication and appointments.
- Answering common questions.
- Providing material that helps patients better understand their condition and treatment.
Since patient engagement is known to save time and improve outcomes, implementing AI into patient engagement strategy can be a game-changer for any home caregiver.
As artificial intelligence continues to grow, the future of AI for home health is definitely bright. AI can improve the quality of home healthcare, lower healthcare costs, save time, and keep patients engaged. With the ever-increasing population, it’s evident that only the use of AI can improve healthcare strategies, especially those designed to keep patients at home.