Equal health care should be available to everyone in theworld at any time, at any place. Oftentimes geographical location prohibitssomeone from getting top tier medical care from the most knowledgeable expertin the field, who may be located thousands of miles away. Sometimes the mostspecialized care is too expensive and unavailable. However, factors likelocation, finances, and availability should not hinder someone’s ability to getthe most quality care possible. Advancing artificial intelligence in medicine,by building a responsive and programmable machine that can deliver diagnosisand treatment options as well as store and analyze massive amounts ofinformation on every study on any disease, can aid in how patients are treated.The purpose of this memorandum is to discuss using artificial intelligence andmachine learning methods to provide equal and accessible health care toeveryone in the world. Everyone has the right to the most expansive and expertmedical care and machines can solve the problem of unequal accessibility tohealth care.
Background It’s unavoidable that there is a difference in premier careavailable to people living in rural area and people living in big urbancenters. Big cities often have state-of-the-art medical facilities that are notpresent in smaller population areas. Although the doctors’ knowledge in a bighospital and a small hospital may not differ, patients lack the number ofexpertise available and may be “deprived of the up-to-date knowledge housed inthe nation’s leading medical centers” (Park, 2017). Lack of financial abilityalso limits the kind of care that is available to a patient. According toMedical Expenditure Panel Survey by the US Department of Health & HumanServices, 10.
5% of Americans experienced difficulty in obtaining necessarymedical care (2014). Why should patients’ demographic factors affect theiraccess to medical care? Who deems it fair that a patient only has access to oneparticular doctor’s knowledge when technology can enable the knowledge ofthousands of experts in the field? If artificial intelligence and machinelearning can solve these problems regarding global health, then why should welimit the access of fair and equal health care of everyone? ArtificialIntelligence as a SolutionThe solution to the problem of unequal health care isadvancing machine learning and artificial intelligence, and using thoseconcepts to build platforms that spread knowledge. Artificial intelligence canbenefit health care because it is “able to start cloning all the expertknowledge, so…one can get access to all types of care, anywhere” (Harvey,2017). The way that artificial intelligence works is to use machine-learningmethods to build machines that can “make diagnoses more accurately and quicklyand find better treatments that save people time and money and preventexposure to harmful side effects” (Park, 2017). Machine learning takes in information,or datasets that we input, and it comes up with its own algorithm to eithercomplete a given task or predict based on the given information.
Thistechnology enables us to input massive amounts of information that is available– due to the influx of new studies and tests in modern medicine – and it canlearn and interpret the data better than humans can. It can be personalized tothe patient – the algorithm can consider his/her medical history, age, sex andetc. to come up with the best treatment possible based on the information aboutdifferent drugs and treatment plans inputted in its system. The aim of this newartificial intelligence machine is not to reintroduce the idea of a doctor as amachine, but to increase the spectrum of the doctor’s knowledge, and guide hisdiagnosis and treatment plans. As The Times puts it, “A.I. programs take the amassedknowledge that every good physician has—which is the product of everything shelearned in medical school and in training as well as her experience in treatingpatient after patient—and scale it to unprecedented levels” (Park, 2017).
Current Application ofAI in Health CareAlthough the implementation ofartificial intelligence in health care has not been widely utilized, there arecurrent samples on what it would look like. For example, there are emotionalintelligence mobile apps, such as Cogito, that can track behavioral patternsand unusual activity to help people with mental health problems. Anothervariation of an Artificial Intelligence application was created to detect skincancer. An artificial intelligence machine was inputted a “gold set” of biopsyproven skin cancer images and tested its performance identifying differenttypes of skin cancers against 21 board-certified dermatologists. On every test,the performance of the machine was comparable, or even better than thedermatologists, where the machine was able to identify skin cancer 72% of thetime (Esteva, 2016). This app transforms medical care – someone who suspects anillness does not have to physically visit a doctor and go through multipletests to obtain a result. The entire process can be done through taking apicture on a smartphone.
According to the Pew Research Center, 77% of Americansown a smartphone (2016). The amount of people with a smartphone is increasingrapidly, especially among people aged 50 and up, and that means thataccessibility of health care is now greater than ever. The development of theseartificial intelligence applications provide systematic and equal care that isconvenient and accessible for everyone. FutureImplicationsThereis so much research and studies that are going on in the medical field that itis impossible to keep up with every new drug, every new treatment plan forevery disease (Times, 2017).
In addition, there are so many variances indisease and treatment outcome for patients that it is impossible for a human touniquely calculate for every single person. Machines can. It has the ability tolearn from the massive amounts of data and improve upon itself. This technologycan be utilized in every hospital, where artificial intelligence machines can aidin the treatment of every single patient, saving time for patients and doctorsalike. It grants access to the most top-tier medical knowledge to people livingin rural areas. Its application in mobile phones grants access to medical helpwith the touch of a button. Artificial intelligence is the next step towardsbettering medicine and improving global health.
ConclusionIn conclusion, artificial intelligence is a platform that canbetter the doctor’s method of reviewing diagnosis and treatment, and better thepatient’s health and access to care. Machines will not replace doctors anytimesoon. However, the world needs artificial intelligence in medicine to improveupon the quality of medical care patients receive and to improve theaccessibility of equal care to everyone.