3 Ways Machine Learning Is Benefiting Your Healthcare

Judith Kniepeiss our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 2/13/2020 9:19 AM
With Data-led roles leading the list in the World Economic Forum’s ‘Jobs of the Future’ report, it is no surprise that Data Science continues to be the main driving force behind a number of technological advancements. From the Natural Language Processing (NLP) that powers your Google Assistant, to Computer Vision identifying scanning pictures for specific objects and the Deep Learning techniques exploring the capability of computers to become “human”, innovation is everywhere. 

It’s unsurprising, then, that the world of healthcare is fascinated by the possibilities Data Science can offer,  possibilities which could not only make your and my life better, but also save several thousands of lives around the world.

To just scrape the surface, here are three examples of how Machine Learning (ML) techniques are being used to benefit our healthcare. 

COMPUTER VISION FOR IMAGING DIAGNOSTICS 


Have you ever had a broken leg or arm and saw a x-ray scan of your fracture? Can you remember how the doctor described the kind of fracture to you and explained where exactly you can see it in the picture?

The same thing that your doctor did a few years ago, can now be done by an algorithm that will identify the type of fracture, and provide insights into how you should treat it.

And it’s not just fractures; Google's AI DeepMind can spot breast cancer as well as your radiologist. By feeding a Machine Learning model the mammograms of 76,000 British women, Google’s engineers taught the system to spot breast cancer in a screen scan. The result? A system as accurate as any radiologist. 

We‘ve already reached the point where Machine Learning and AI can no longer just outsmart us at a board game, but can benefit our everyday lives, including in as sensitive use-cases as the healthcare industry.

NLP AS YOUR PERSONAL HEALTH ASSISTANT 


When we go to our GP, we go to see someone with a medical education and clinical understanding who can evaluate our health problems. We go there because we trust in the education of this person and their ability to give us the best information possible.

However, thanks to the rise of the internet, we’ve turned to search engines and WebMD to self-diagnose online, often reading blogs and forums that will convince us we have cancer instead of a common cold. 

Fortunately, technology has advanced to the point where it can assist with an on-the-spot (much more accurate) evaluation of your medical condition. By conversing with an AI, like the one from Babylon Health, we can gain insights into possible health problem, define the next steps we need to take and know whether or not we need to see a doctor in person. 

There’s no need to wait for opening times or to sit bored in a waiting room. Easy access from your phone democratises the process and advice can be received by anyone, at any time.   

DEEP LEARNING DRAWS CONCLUSIONS BETWEEN MEDICAL STUDIES


Despite their extensive qualifications, even medical researchers can feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of Insights and Data that are gathered around the world in hospitals, labs, and across various studies. No wonder it’s not uncommon for important Insights and Data to get forgotten in the mix.

Once again, Machine Learning can help us out. Instead of getting lost in a sea of medical data, ML algorithms can dig deep and find the information medical researchers really need. By efficiently sifting a through vast amounts of medical data, combining certain datasets and providing insights, ML sources ways for treatments to be improved, medicines to be altered, and, as a result, can save lives.

And this is only the beginning. As Machine Learning continues to improve we can expect huge advances in the following years, from robotic surgery to automated hospitals and beyond.

If you’re an expert in Machine Learning, we may have a job for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities of get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

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How Will Embracing Flexible Working Help The Life Science Sector To Grow?

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Three Ways Data Impacts The Customer Experience

In 2019, over 50 per cent of companies had adopted Big Data, with a further 38 per cent citing that they would be investing in it in the future. As it stands, we can assume that now, at least three-quarters of businesses will have invested in Big Data capabilities. By 2022, the annual revenue from the global big data and business analytics market is expected to reach $274.3 billion.  The lucrative nature of this industry stems from a recognition by many companies that it’s no longer good enough to guess what customers might want or need from your product or service, but to have hard evidence to back up your choices. Not only does this make for much happier, more satisfied customers, but it undoubtedly improves the bottom line.  Here are three examples which showcase how Data can positively impact the customer experience: 1. Create a more intuitive website journey From heatmapping the areas of interest (or disinterest) on your website through eye movement or mouse tracking to traffic analysis through tools such as Google Analytics, Data can give you both real-time and overall information about the success of your website.  You can analyse areas of the website where consumers ‘linger’ or click through, such as content pieces, links or assets, which proves to give added value or entice them to learn more about your business. You can also see areas where little to no activity happens, allowing you to create a new, perhaps more engaging, strategy.  The use of data for website ensures your get the design and content right in less time. The cost of redesigning a website can be a hefty cost for any business. The fewer times a website needs chopping and changing, the more cost-effective it will be, not forgetting to mention a much smoother and more efficient process for customers. 2. Building loyalty through personalisation In a report featured in Forbes by The Harris Poll, 76 per cent of Americans are more likely to complete a purchase if the customer journey has been personalised to them, their needs and wants. The story is similar in the UK, 80 per cent of companies report seeing an uplift after employing personalisation tactics.  However, personalisation must go one step further than just addressing a person by name in an email nowadays. It means targeting consumers with specific and relevant ads that actually take their interest instead of bombarding them with a scattergun approach, as well as looking at areas such as location-specific targeting and device optimised outreach. This can be made possible by combining marketing data, such as brand interactions, combined with sales data, previous purchases, and customer service data, the feedback given. These aspects allow you to create an in-depth and meaningful customer journey map, help you understand what turns specific consumers on, or off, and ensures your marketing messages and outreach are pertinent.  3. Be prepared for problems before they occur Data can give incredible insight into what’s working currently for a business but, arguably, its strengths lie in giving accurate understanding into the potential risks or problems that are likely to occur in the future.  According to Clarion Tech, there are seven areas in which Data can play a crucial role in minimising risk, errors or issues for a vast range of businesses. From making sense of unused business data to making companies proactive instead of reactive, minimising misleading forecasts to diminishing customer service challenges, data can be the solution to a wealth of problems.  Not only do these kinds of errors leave a bitter taste in the mouths of customers who may struggle to revisit your business after a bad experience, but they can negatively affect your bottom line too. Nipping them in the bud before they happen is an incredible card to have to hand, and one that could be the saviour of your business.  To learn more about how working with a Data & Analytics specialist could help bolster the success of your business, contact our team or, if you're looking for your next opportunity, check out our latest roles. 

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