Artificial intelligence – or AI – has come a long way. There was a time when the only reference we had was a movie made by Steven Spielberg or a vague idea of robots taking over the world. Today, AI is more benign, with practical applications for healthcare professionals, resulting in cost savings and labor efficiencies.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

According to Investopedia, “Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions.” While that may draw our thoughts towards the aforementioned robots, it’s slightly more complex than that. While the beauty of AI is that it is a concept put into play through the use of machines, it is designed only to mimic or simulate how humans think and what their actions may be. Ultimately, AI is not human, though, so there is always room for improvement – that’s where machine learning comes in.

What is Machine Learning?

MIT Sloan explains that “Machine learning is behind chatbots and predictive text, language translation apps, the shows Netflix suggests to you, and how your social media feeds are presented.” The simplest way to think about machine learning is likely by thinking about an algorithm. The example of Netflix is a solid one – think about how the streaming app begins suggesting movies and TV shows you may like to watch after it starts to “learn” through your viewing. So many components are taken into play when it comes to this type of machine learning: how much time you spend watching a particular show or genre; your ratings of a film; your saved selections. All of it feeds into an AI that gets “smarter” every time you tell Netflix yes, you’re still watching.

Types of AI

As AI has been around since American computer scientist John McCarthy first coined it in 1956 when the first AI conference was held, there has been a springboard of growth, particularly from 2005-2019. In the early part of the 21st century, we’ve seen the development of speech recognition, robotic process automation, supercomputer enhancements and more. Now, the variety of the types of AI are plentiful:

  • Purely reactive: this type of AI has no memory or data and can only specialize in one area or task, and is considered “weak AI” (think chess video games).
  • Limited memory: this AI can collect previous data and continue adding it to its “memory” while making correct decisions despite having a limited reference point.
  • Theory of mind: this AI understands thoughts, emotions and can interact socially.
  • Self-aware: future interactions of this technology will be intelligent, sentient and conscious. 

 The Applications of AI in Healthcare

 AI can help in healthcare, and senior living, in the following ways:

  • Enhancing surgical procedures through technology that offers a better outcome
  • Managing Medicinal dosages and individualized treatment plans
  • Providing diagnostic assistance
  • Maintaining and tracking medical records
  • Managing health insurance claims

AI can become implemented as either a tool or software program designed to make a human employee’s life easier. AI can also cut down on human error through an organized system process that doesn’t get tired or need breaks and is available 24/7. This is important for healthcare organizations that rely on accuracy and dependability for their patient care.

Why Does AI in Healthcare Matter?

Ultimately, AI in healthcare assists caregivers in their daily work to drive efficiency and savings but also to provide better quality of life for patients and their families. The use of automation can help with that.

If you have more questions about how DSSI is implementing modern-day technologies like AI into the work we do in senior living, reach out to a specialist today to learn more.

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