How AI is transforming the future of healthcare

The symptoms are alarming: it can start with dizziness or even a feeling of fear. You may notice a fluttering sensation around your heart, or a pounding heartbeat. You could faint. But if you only experience such symptoms occasionally, your doctor may have trouble diagnosing.

For decades, heart specialists have been implanting implantable cardiac monitors (ICMs) to track sporadic cardiac arrhythmias† These subcutaneous devices are the preferred diagnostic tool for long-term heart rhythm monitoring since they were first developed in 1990. But ICM false reports been a problem ever since. But now doctors are using artificial intelligence to reduce the incidence of ICM false positives† Last summer, Medtronic, a global leader in healthcare technology, introduced new AI algorithms to reduce false alerts of irregular or fast heart rhythms and long pauses between heartbeats. By integrating these AI capabilities, physicians can better identify and focus on the data they need, and tailor treatment to patients’ lifestyles.

Since its foundation in 1949, Medtronic has pioneered healthcare technology such as pacemakers, heart valves and pumps for continuous glucose monitoring. With today’s innovations, medical devices incorporate AI and insights from data to increase impact across healthcare and improve patient diagnosis and treatment.

Healthcare is a suitable application for AI because of the enormous amount of data that is generated. “Patients expect care that’s smarter—and as accessible and convenient as ordering online,” said Geoff Martha, Medtronic president and CEO. “The current golden age of healthcare technology is meeting those expectations — and it’s data that moves us forward.”

With AI as the driving force, modern healthcare technology turns data into personalized solutions. Many recent developments in the field are made possible by AI. These solutions can improve patient outcomes, alleviate caregiver burnout, and even address inequalities. “AI gives clinicians time to deliver better patient care,” said Bob White, executive vice president and president of the Medical Surgical portfolio at Medtronic. “At the same time, it delivers advanced, personalized medicine.”


Here are some of the ways advances in AI are helping health systems, clinicians and patients, as reflected in recent Medtronic innovations:

More accurate and efficient care
The companies cardiac AI algorithms improving the insights caregivers get from monitors, reducing false reports, while patient management platform detects lung nodules through imaging and data, then collects radiology reports in real time to streamline care.

Improving patient self-care
Their smart insulin pen tracks insulin doses for type 1 diabetes patients in real time and then provides personalized dosing recommendations via a mobile app. The recommendations reduce the guesswork with daily injection regimens.

Improving Surgeon Performance
The companies surgical video and analysis platform enables doctors to analyze and improve their work. As the first AI-powered surgical video management and analysis platform, surgeons use it to record procedures; they can then access videos on mobile devices and computers to view, share and discuss insights. AI technology segments surgery videos to facilitate case-to-case comparisons, highlight best practices, accelerate training, and enable surgeons to identify variations in procedures.

Accelerate medical intervention
AI-powered image analysis is like another set of eyes for a clinician. Their intelligent endoscopy module uses AI to analyze images frame by frame, facilitating polyp identification in real time. A recent study published in the journal American Gastroenterological Association Gastroenterology found that the addition of AI significantly improved polyp detection in colonoscopies.


When algorithms are trained with patient data that varies by gender, age, race and other factors, AI reduces bias and removes barriers to care. With its partners, Medtronic . is providing disadvantaged communities with colorectal cancer screening modules† This Health Equity Assistance Program could impact up to 350,000 patients over the next three years. “This is driving equity in healthcare,” said Giovanni Di Napoli, the Gastrointestinal Business President at Medtronic. “Bringing these devices to underserved patients demonstrates a commitment to health equity that is anchored in access to advanced healthcare technology.”

Medtronic is also applying AI to a partnership pilot program to tackle inequalities in the prevention and treatment of sudden cardiac arrest. The condition (where the heart stops beating abruptly) can be fatal if not treated within minutes. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) are: usually recommended for long-term treatment and prevention† Medtronic-sponsored study shows women and people of color don’t get ICDs as often as white men, even if the devices are medically indicated. This program identifies patients at higher risk earlier. Using data from different patient communities helps to eradicate bias in selecting ICD candidates.

Patients, clinicians and health system stakeholders are all looking to AI to personalize treatment, expand equitable access and improve care outcomes. Medtronic uses the trillions of signals from patients to develop intelligent healthcare technology solutions that can enhance, extend and save lives. “Healthcare technology is about giving previous insights to take action, and that’s what artificial intelligence does,” White says. “Data, analytics and AI can help deliver better patient care and impact the lives of millions of people.”

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