Bedside robots could soon be a reality in public hospitals in the UK.
NHS, the body governing the operations of the public hospitals in the UK is considered to deliver one of the best healthcare in the world. About 243 million patients are seen each year by the NHS. According to the latest figures, NHS employs 106,430 doctors; 285,893 nurses and health visitors; 21,597 midwives; 132,673 scientific, and therapeutic and technical staff. However, a lack of funding and a severe shortage of manpower is making this task more and more difficult with each passing day.
AI in healthcare, UK
A report published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in April this year indicates that a wide adoption of AI and Robotics by the NHS can potentially free up £12.5B worth of resources annually, easing the burden on the system. It will help doctors and support attend to other patients while bedside robots take over functions like helping the patients around the ward, conducting digital triage, and even helping them with exercises and nutrition.
In addition, the use of machine learning and AI can help the NHS with the screening of diseases like Diabetic Retinopathy, certain cancers without involving a specialist. Acting on the recommendations, the secretary of state for Health and Social Care, Jeremy Hunt, has announced a review into how the current NHS staff could be trained in AI and robotics.
This is a huge news for the AI community as this signals a wider adoption by a dominant publically funded body.
AI goes beyond just treatment
With an implementation of AI in healthcare in the UK, patients would have a better access to healthcare. Even though the healthcare in the UK is quite good, patients often have to wait to see a doctor. In many cases, an experienced nurse, also known as a Nurse Practitioner sees a patient with a minor ailment. In the UK as well as the USA, NPs can see patients, make a diagnosis and prescribe a treatment.
With the help of AI, both patients, as well as the Healthcare professionals, will have a better interaction, with easier follow up, convenient prescriptions, and support beyond the clinic. When a patient chooses the services of Aimedis, say in the UK, he has an option to get an e-consultation from a doctor for less, without footing the bill of an expensive private consultation. He can choose to share his data – age, diagnosis, treatment given, outcomes, any side effects, impact on his daily activities, data from his health trackers, with researchers. This helps the researchers come up with better treatment recommendations, Pharmaceutical companies to come up with safer medicines with fewer side effects, and doctors with a feedback for their treatment.
Aimedis welcomes this news and hopes to see exciting developments in the use of AI to shape Public Policy