May 30, 2024 | 7 minute

What Are the Pros and Cons of AI in Healthcare?

Ai in healthcare: Confident Black Female Neurologist studying MRI scan on screen in hospital
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Benefits of AI in healthcare

Implementing a system that utilizes AI can help healthcare facilities streamline their administrative tasks, save time and money, and provide excellent care to all patients. AI also “learns” from new data and feedback, so it’s continuously improving and becoming more accurate.

Early diagnosis

AI algorithms can assess a patient’s symptoms and analyze medical imaging results to detect bone fractures, cancer, and other conditions. The earlier we can get a proper diagnosis, the sooner we can begin treatment, and deliver the care a patient needs.

Drug development

AI’s ability to analyze huge quantities of data makes it an effective tool to discover new possibilities in prescription drugs. It can analyze data sets to identify candidates for drug trials and even improve safety by making predictions about interactions, efficacy, and outcomes.

Real-time data

Healthcare facilities can use AI, combined with real-time data reporting, to track the location and status of patients, medical devices, and staff members. It also allows providers to track available patient rooms and testing areas to optimize operations, improve scheduling, and boost patient flow.

AI in telehealth

Telehealth technology connects patients and providers via video as an alternative to meeting in person, enabling patients to access quality care from their own homes, which aids in both prevention and treatment.

In telehealth, AI is a great way for patients with a compromised immune system to avoid exposing themselves to viruses. It also allows those with limited mobility or travel capabilities to get needed care. AI chatbots help with scheduling, gathering patient information, pre-populating check-in forms and questionnaires, handling patient checkout and prescription refills, and taking pre-assessments. Providers use telehealth tools to take patient metrics and AI can help by providing insights and data-backed recommendations. Clinicians may require additional in-person care if they detect a high-risk variable.

Surgical accuracy

Robotic systems powered by AI can assist surgeons in performing some procedures. One of the key contributions of AI is its ability to enhance preoperative planning and intraoperative navigation. By leveraging machine learning algorithms and computer vision, AI can analyze medical imaging data such as CT scans and MRIs to create highly detailed and precise 3D models of a patient’s anatomy. These models allow surgeons to plan complex procedures with greater precision, identifying the optimal surgical approach and anticipating potential complications.

During surgery, AI-powered robotic systems can assist surgeons by providing real-time feedback and making micro-adjustments to their movements, thereby improving the accuracy of incisions and reducing the risk of human error.

Additionally, AI algorithms can predict patient-specific risks and outcomes by analyzing large datasets of surgical histories and patient records. This predictive capability allows for more personalized surgical plans and better-informed decisions about patient care.

Resource and task efficiency

Automating processes wherever possible frees up medical professionals to spend more time with their patients, leading to more satisfying interactions and better care. Everyday manual tasks like scheduling appointments and reviewing patient insurance information take time. However, with AI, staff can streamline these tasks significantly, cutting down the time it takes to process claims and other necessary functions. This not only saves costs by allowing providers to focus on patient care instead of administrative tasks but also frees up human staff members’ time for other work.

Wearable smart devices

Smart badges and nano tags are wearable devices that provide greater security to staff and patients. Nurses can use their smart badges to instantly send an alert and summon help in dangerous situations. Patient wristbands with nano tags can provide valuable data about the patient’s location to coordinate care, prevent elopement, and keep them from entering restricted areas.

Data analysis

AI makes it possible to analyze large quantities of data from multiple sources. Providers can create reports from this data making it possible to accomplish anything from informing administrative decisions to improving patient care to aiding research into various diseases.

Machine learning techniques record and track patient traits and testing results to gather a vast network of data to help predict patient outcomes. Data analysis also makes it possible for providers to give all patients a personalized treatment plan by reviewing their medical data and lifestyle factors.

Reduced stress in workers

Most healthcare providers spend a portion of each shift tracking down supplies, communicating with other providers, and performing various administration tasks in addition to their required duties to their patients. These added responsibilities take time and often cause stress from tighter deadlines and burnout. Using AI to automate and streamline many of these tasks relieves them of this extra responsibility so they can focus on their patients.

Potential drawbacks of AI and healthcare

While AI has a growing presence in the healthcare industry with many wonderful applications, there are some potential problems that come from relying too heavily on artificial intelligence. Some fear that AI in healthcare could take over in areas that require human intervention. Healthcare facilities and providers must remain vigilant and proactive, utilizing AI in smart ways to aid human decisions and tasks, without removing the necessary human touch from healthcare.

Potential for misdiagnosis

AI relies on the accuracy and availability of data and, resultantly, AI can produce inaccurate recommendations when little data is available. It operates by logic and is limited by what it has learned to date. Healthcare practitioners often use observed patient behaviors or indications of mood picked up in conversation to help them make a diagnosis or recommend appropriate treatment.

Plus, patients often present with multiple symptoms common to more than one condition. AI can contribute to early detection, treatment options, and outcome predictions, but it is ultimately up to the doctor to leverage the AI analysis,work closely with the patient, and use all available resources to reach an accurate diagnosis.

Data privacy

Another problem with artificial intelligence in healthcare is the security risk. Patients depend on healthcare facilities and providers to keep their sensitive data secure. However, since AI uses data networks, they are susceptible to data breaches and cyberattacks. Improving cyber security and staying current with new updates can help to lower, but not eliminate this risk.


With the increased prevalence of AI comes the question of accountability. If technology drives decisions and patient care, then it can be difficult to determine the responsible party if an error occurs.

Social variables

AI may not have the nuanced data to take into account the patient’s financial situation which may limit options. It also disregards the social aspect of care, when a patient has a clear preference or requires a certain treatment location to be near their support network. It’s still important for medical providers to have a conversation with the patient to determine all of their needs, as these factors can affect the patient’s state of mind and treatment outcome.

Job redundancy

One of the biggest fears that keeps cropping up in discussions of AI in healthcare is what it will do to human jobs. If AI can automate certain tasks, save time, and cut costs, some jobs may no longer need human workers. As AI becomes more integrated into daily operations, the risk of job displacement increases.

The future of AI in healthcare

With the many successful uses of AI to date, it’s no secret that artificial intelligence is the future of healthcare. Facilities that wish to provide high-quality care and stay competitive must recognize the place of AI in healthcare.

Implementing AI is smart ways to streamline tasks, improve efficiency, elevate patient care, and lower costs are just a few of the benefits. Finding a balance between AI applications and traditional human care interventions is the ideal strategy to take advantage of the potential of AI while maintaining the human element necessary for excellent healthcare.