Technology has impacted every area of our lives, but arguably none more than healthcare. Thanks to advancements in diagnoses and treatments, we’re living longer, healthier lives.

One technology in particular that has revolutionised healthcare is artificial intelligence (AI). The machine-learning technology is used across the spectrum of healthcare, from robotic surgery assistance to virtual nursing assistants and image analysis. It’s even being utilised in drug research to streamline the discovery and repurposing phases.

As with many sectors, the application of artificial intelligence is perceived as a threat by some. Its ability to eliminate admin tasks and even take care of end-to-end processes has caused concern amongst healthcare workers. But it’s important to note the technology is an enabler and helps workers to be smarter and more efficient.

The use of artificial intelligence in healthcare has increased exponentially in the past year, with more intelligent applications than ever before. Here, we cover the most innovative advancements in the use of AI in healthcare recently

Efficient drug development and testing

UK-based artificial intelligence firm Exscientia has used AI to develop a drug molecule from scratch.

That’s right, AI is being used to create new drugs. The molecule forms part of a new drug aimed at treating patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which has entered into human trials in record time. The drug was available for clinical trials within 12 months, compared to the average of four-and-a-half years for the entire lifecycle of drug development.

Similarly, UK biotech company Healx has secured millions in funding to research and develop new drugs for rare conditions using artificial intelligence. Not only does artificial intelligence dramatically reduce the time between drug development and clinical trials, but it’s also projected to save millions on the research and development phases of creating new drugs thanks to how efficient it makes the process.