Generative artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionise the healthcare industry by enabling machines to simulate human-like creativity and saving time of physicians and paramedical staff, says an industry veteran.
Shez Partovi, Chief Innovation & Strategy Officer and Chief Business Leader of Enterprise Informatics, Royal Philips, opined that generative AI can offer various benefits in healthcare, ranging from personalised treatments to improved diagnostic accuracy.
“Technology plays an important role in the transformation of the health sector and will strengthen relations between the doctors and patients by allowing more time to examine medical issues instead of spending more time on analysing history on papers,” Partovi told Khaleej Times during an interview at Arab Health exhibition in Dubai.
AI role is vital
He said AI is playing an increasingly vital role in healthcare, offering a range of benefits that are revolutionising the industry.
“AI provides automated segmentations and allows doctors to spend more time with the patients rather than focusing more on computers,” he said.
He said Generative AI allows enough time to physicians to build personal relationship with the patients.
“Our automated solutions give time back to the physicians to spend with the patients rather than on the technology. This is the transformative power of generative AI,” he said.
Partovi was of the view that AI makes ‘hard things easier’ for physicians but Generative AI makes ‘impossible things just hard’ after the transformation and automation of the healthcare sector.
Elaborating, he said: “Ultrasound is hard to learn and requires six to eight months of knowledge, but we have a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop an AI algorithm that needs just one hour of training. This latest development that makes ‘impossible things just hard’ is exciting and going to transform the health sector. This is an aspiration for Philips.”
Handling data a big challenge
Partovi said handling ‘tsunami of data’ is the biggest challenge being faced by the health sector today.
“We are working on the concept to give meaning to the data and accurately predict the conditions of the patients. How do you go from data to prediction, from data to insights and here AI comes in so that physicians and nurses act quickly, predicting an infection or risk of a cardiac arrest. “We are looking into the future and it's the opportunity for us,” he added.
“Three Vs are very important for data — Volume, Variety and Velocity of data. We work with our partners to build right data sets and build models tailored to the conditions and as per need of the region.” he said, adding that data is always optimised for the area, region and the problem.
Partovi said cloud technology is helping healthcare organisations to cut costs and improve operational efficiency.
“Instead of investing in expensive hardware and infrastructure, healthcare providers can use cloud services to store and manage their data, allowing them to focus on their core mission of providing quality patient care,” he said.
“With the increasing amount of data and the need for more efficient and secure data storage and management, cloud technology provides the perfect solution for healthcare organisations to streamline their operations,” he added.
Enhancing efficiency, productivity
Partovi said doctors and nurses are overloaded with work due to increasing medical data. He said: “At Philips, we are really focused how data could help the doctors and nurses to be more efficient and productive and making the workflow very easy.”
“We see our role in 2024 is to help doctors, nurses and medical staff to be more effective, productive and efficient. This is the area we are really focused on,” he said.
Philips signed an MoU , inaugurating Malaffi as the global reference site for Philips' Image Exchange Solution.
This is an extension of a successful partnership established in 2022 that enabled Malaffi to include the exchange of medical images among diverse facilities in Abu Dhabi, setting global standards for seamless radiology image sharing. As a global reference site, Malaffi now showcases the impact of Philips technology in shaping the future of healthcare. This collaboration isn't just about technology; it's about making healthcare better for everyone. The sharing of radiology images not only reduces duplication and healthcare costs but also safeguards patients from unnecessary radiation, elevating the standard of patient care.
Computer learning, training
Partovi said it is a misconception that technology will cost human jobs. “This perception is not true and in fact technology makes life easier, brings costs down and improves efficiency and productivity,” he said.
To a question, he said Philips has collaborations and partnerships with various organisations and businesses to support necessary computer training to doctors, nurses and other medical staff.
“We have a partnership with the American College of Radiology in North America to support cybersecurity training for radiologists. We are working with different organisations in different parts of the world to enhance the understanding of physicians about AI, cloud, and cybersecurity, among others. We are also involved in coaching and learnings of physicians in this area,” he said.
In reply to a question, he underlined the need to understand the importance of regulations about data usage and 100 per cent compliance for medical purposes.
“The role of regulators are very important and healthcare service providers should use only trustworthy and reliable data for medical purpose,” he said.
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