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AI and interconnected data

3 Ways AI and Interconnected Data Help Drive Better Healthcare Outcomes

by Heidi Bullman

In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) and interconnected data have become fundamental to healthcare. In fact, it was AI, that helped to pinpoint patterns that led to the identification of COVID-19. With myriad use cases, it’s clear that AI and interconnected data are having a big impact on the healthcare industry and this can be seen in three specific ways.

“AI is doing tremendous things for the healthcare industry but the true superhero behind this work is data,” explained industry expert, Tim Waters of Equinix. “Take for instance, COVID-19. AI detected that there was a string of unusual pneumonia cases in China. By sifting through data, AI found the bits that were significant via modeling. It connected the dots to reveal insights that wouldn’t have been seen otherwise.”

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The first way AI and interconnected data are driving better outcomes in the healthcare industry is by speeding up drug discovery and smarter responses; the perfect example of this is the COVID-19 vaccine. AI has the capability to take the data from pharmaceutical companies running clinical trials and extract insights.

“To effectively uncover relationships between different knowledge domains, AI requires access to large, diverse data sets. While data sharing may have opened up quite a bit for the COVID-19 outbreak, it is typically a challenge in industries like health and pharma where data is often collected and stored in different places and considered to be highly sensitive,” explained Waters. “But by leveraging an interconnected distributed data architecture, participants in digital health ecosystems such as providers, insurers, governments, researchers, and more can share patient information safely and compliantly. And as the secure exchange of health data grows, it will pave the way for medical breakthroughs [like the discovery of a vaccine for COVID-19].”

Additionally, AI and interconnected data help to enable future digital health innovations. An example of this is today’s wearable devices. These devices are predictive in the way that they analyze data that alerts both the wearer and their doctors of abnormal patterns. “In an ideal world, each of us would have basic home health diagnostic equipment that would connect to our individual electronic health record (EHR) system and our physician could routinely check on our well-being,” explained Waters. “Thinking a bit bigger, all that data could be analyzed as an aggregate set to detect how the population as a whole is reacting to certain outbreaks from the common influenza virus to HIV. It would be amazing if we could track communicable diseases more accurately using a system like this. All the technological pieces we need already exist, and it’s up to us to interconnect it.”

From here on, the future of healthcare depends on AI and interconnected data. This is what will fuel medical discoveries and continued breakthroughs. Additionally, it will continue to speed up drug discovery – like the COVID-19 vaccine – and keep patients in control of their health. This, of course, is only the beginning of AI and interconnected data. So, what’s next?

To learn about the third way they’re driving better health outcomes, click here.

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