Monthly Archives: November 2018

Key factors to improving mental health odds

Our physical health is at a stage now where it is talked about openly and honestly enough that people feel comfortable getting help for the various physical health issues they may be experiencing, from having to make a doctor appointment to get advice on Pruritus Ani treatment cream, to going to the hospital for the pains caused by various infections. The stigma that surrounded a lot of physical health ailments so long ago has practically been eradicated over time. We now face a similar kind of stigma around mental health – but it is one that is far more severe than the one surrounding physical health ever was. In fact, it is stifling, suffocating.

Mental health is arguably both the most important aspect of health to strengthen, and the most difficult. Important, because mental health correlates a lot of what feels possible in general. When we are struggling mentally, our brains have a tendency to switch off, and physical activity, mental capacity, emotion response…all of it goes out the window and everything is left up to chance and chaos – a dangerous cocktail at the best of times. And more difficult because getting from A to B is not as black and white as it is for most cases of physical health. When we are physically unfit, we can work towards active solutions by exercising and eating healthier. Mental health is harder to correct, it feels darker and more closed in. Thankfully, there are two key ways to combat mental health struggles, and it is important to pay attention to them.

Understand mental health for what it is

First and foremost, understanding that a breach in your mental health is not a breach in sanity or strength, is crucial. No good has ever come of believing that mental health struggles are a result of poor character. The stigma surrounding mental health is, frankly, incredibly damaging. Treating mental health struggles like they are something that can be easily fixed with the switching on and off of a button is irresponsible, illogical, and disappointing (to say the least). If an athlete dislocates their knee, they are not told to just get back up and start running again. A mental strain is no different. Mental health issues are a disease, and should be treated as such – with care, with kindness, and with understanding.

Know the channels available to help – and where to find them

When mental health indicators like anxiety and depression kick in, it can be all-consuming. Over time, the strains become more and more profound to the point that it eventually becomes too much and the individual can lose sight of everything in their life – including the fact that there is nearly always at least one channel, or one person, that is willing to help them clear their way through the fog and back to clarity. As well as friends and family (the obvious channels) there are professional assistance programs and outlets such as support groups, emergency hotlines, hospitals, and psychiatrists. Reaching out is the first step, and the rest follows on from there. Perhaps not easily, and perhaps not without significant setbacks, but the rest will follow. Recognise that it is not a quick journey – like anything else, it will take time, and you will have to learn to be patient with yourself during that journey (and after you have reached the destination).

8 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Medical Diagnosis

Although AI and robotics aren’t expected to replace the human intelligence in the healthcare field any time soon, the medical industry is shifting, and the public is willing to embrace it. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study revealed that most of the consumers are ready to get care from the advanced techniques, which are promising to offer even better, faster and more accessible healthcare solutions for everyone.

Artificial intelligence is becoming more sophisticated in performing the tasks that humans do, but more quickly, efficiently and at a reduced cost. The potential for both robotics and AI in medicine is vast, and just like in every other field, robotics and AI are increasingly a part of the healthcare ecosystem.  The medical sector has embraced Artificial intelligence in medical diagnosis through automation, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence.

Machine learning for medical diagnostics

According to the Institute of Medicine, diagnostic errors account to about 10% of patient deaths, and also to 6-17% of hospital complications. It’s essential to note that these errors are not attributed to the performance of the physicians; instead, researchers attribute this to:

  • Communication gaps among patients, clinicians, and their families
  • Inadequate collaboration and integration of health IT, and;
  • A work system that does not, by design, efficiently support the diagnostic process

Diagnostic errors may harm patients by delaying or preventing the necessary treatment, offering harmful or unnecessary treatment or leading to financial or psychological repercussions.

Many facilities are striving to streamline their healthcare processes to address these challenges. They are also integrating AI and robotics into their operations to enhance medical diagnostics. In addition to diagnostic procedures like oncology and pathology, AI systems can also play a critical role in therapeutic processes, like in the removal of the gallbladder.

Here are eight ways Artificial Intelligence is transforming the medical care industry:

  1. Managing historical records and data of patients

With data analysis forming the foundation for building machine learning and artificial intelligence into the system, data management becomes crucial. AI-powered robots collect, re-format and store data to enable users to access them anytime, securely. This information allows specialists to analyze the trends, study behaviors, anticipate future issues and also make informed decisions.

  1. Eliminating repetitive jobs

Artificial intelligence will enable practices to maximize the performance of their staff, by cutting out their need to perform repetitive tasks, like analyzing scans, X-rays, and reports as well as data entry. And the best part is, these systems will take care of these tasks, and will do so in a fast, yet accurate way.

  1. Micro-targeting the right treatment

AI systems can sift through millions of data points to select the right treatment plan and suggest customizations that could benefit the patient.

  1. Online consultation

There is an increasing number of apps that offer users services such as digital medical consultation based on the individual’s medical history. Most of the apps also come packed with speech recognition tools to simplify the process.

  1. Virtual nurses

With the onset of AI, digital nurses have also come into use. The technology helps monitor the patient’s condition, issue alerts if there’s any variation and follow up on treatments.

  1. Managing medication

Multiple apps now rely on AI to monitor the use of medicines administered to a patient. Smartphones enabled with these apps access the webcams to make sure that patients are taking the medication on time and confirm their progress.

  1. Drug creation

The ample research and studies that go into developing new drugs to fight growing viruses can cost billions. AI programs come with the ability to scan the existing database of medicines and redesign them to fight new infection scares.

The variety of healthcare and medical solutions powered by AI are a significant development in today’s world. Governments and hospitals need to drive more innovation for automating processes and making better decisions.

  1. Proactive medical care

In conventional medical care, doctors only treat patients whose problems have been identified. For instance, a patient visits the doctor’s office with particular symptoms, and the doctor performs relevant tests to establish the disease before administering medication. This kind of care is referred to as reactive medical care.

AI has seen a shift in this trend, as it has introduced proactive medical treatment – where the full medical history of the patient is monitored and high-risk markers for different diseases established. Patients who are at risk are then observed for any change in their condition, and if there’s any cause for alarm, then the program recommends medical intervention.

Artificial intelligence is no longer sci-fi; it is here with us, and it’s transforming the medical field. AI is set to be a part of the healthcare ecosystem. AI-based solutions can be used in early detection of infections, diagnosis, decision making, treatments, end of life care, research and training.