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Medical Science and Artificial Intelligence | Technology

Medical Science and Artificial Intelligence | Technology
Medical Science and Artificial Intelligence | Technology

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Medical Science are two fields of study that are closely related

Artificial intelligence can help the doctor to be more competent and resolute, without giving up being subtle and human, essential capabilities

The most recent study of Medical Demography in Brazil, carried out in partnership with the University of São Paulo (USP) and with the collaboration of the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM), provided detailed information on the population of physicians and their professional practice.

Data from 2020 show Brazil with 2.4 doctors per thousand inhabitants, the same rate as Japan, Mexico and Poland and very close to Chile (2.5), the United States (2.6), Canada (2.7) and United Kingdom (2.8), although below the average of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, which is 3.4 per thousand inhabitants.

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not have a specific parameter and the federal government uses as a reference the proportion found in the United Kingdom (2.8), which, after Brazil, has the largest public health system of a universal nature oriented by care. basic.

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Between 2010 and 2020, the country gained 180,000 new doctors, an increase greater than the growth of the general population (1.7 to 2.4 per 1,000 inhabitants).

Much of this increase was due to the policy of deliberate opening of medical schools and the expansion of undergraduate vacancies accentuated from 2013 onwards by the Mais Médicos Law. 

In 2018, in Belo Horizonte, we had 17,906 doctors for 2.5 million inhabitants, which gives a ratio of 7.09 professionals per thousand inhabitants.

This data shows that we need a correction of the distortion in the distribution of professionals between the interior and capital in Minas Gerais and throughout Brazil.

In January 2020, of all 478,010 doctors working in Brazil, 61.3% of them had one or more specialist titles, while the other 38.7% had no title in any specialty.

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Considering only the 55 medical specialties officially recognized by the Federal Council of Medicine and the Brazilian Medical Association, we had 11.3% in internal medicine, 10.1% in pediatrics, 8.9% in general surgery, 5.9% in anesthesiology, 4.6% in occupational medicine, 4.1% in orthopedics and traumatology, 4.1% in cardiology, 3.6% in ophthalmology and 3.3% in radiology and diagnostic imaging.

When evaluating the evolution of medical work in Brazil, there was an increase in the number of hours worked per week that generate a negative impact on the quality of life and on the quality of services and care, according to data from 2014 and 2019. 

The percentage of doctors with four or more contracts increased from 24% to 44% in five years, with 32% working more than 60 hours a week in 2014 and 46% in 2019, maintaining the same rates of work in their own offices and on duty.

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In fact, this increase in working hours was aimed at maintaining income, since, according to the study, the perception was that in years prior to the research, they had reduced remuneration, worsened working conditions and increased workload.

It is worth remembering that these are data from before the COVID-19 pandemic, which certainly worsened this scenario.

The future of medicine has been determined by the direction of the health system, by individual choices of physicians, by the market, by public policies and currently by artificial intelligence that can improve the qualification and the existing overload.

An artificial doctor conceptually would be a doctor who is not natural, a doctor endowed with artificial intelligence, a robot.

The concept of artificial intelligence (A.I.) refers to a set of methods aimed at building a human-like intellect, that is, capable of learning and carrying out practical interventions.

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It all happens thanks to the support of technologies such as big data, machine learning and sophisticated algorithms.

We are facing a period of history in which revolutions occur with an almost daily frequency, advances are faster and faster and what is modern today may become outdated next week and obsolete in a few months.

For hundreds of years, humanity has dreamed of objects endowed with a certain intelligence, capable of performing complex actions and thinking.

Emerged in the mid-1960s, the popularly called A.I.  consisted of equipment, machines and robots with the ability to understand, process and perform automated functions, previously done only by people.

Human beings have the ability to reason based on their perceptions and sensations, assimilate this thought, connect with previous experiences and, finally, perform a task.

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The idea would be to integrate these capabilities into machines that would help people in specific roles or even replace people in their roles, freeing that person for another, more complex task.

Experts say they do not see machines replacing doctors, either now or in the future, and that this is not the goal of artificial intelligence applications in healthcare, as artificial intelligence does not replace human beings in tasks that require making decisions. decision.

What will happen is the replacement of the way to carry out the tasks, changing the way they are done and performed.  Artificial intelligence will thus become the new stethoscope for doctors who need to reinvent, improve and evolve more than ever.

From the smartwatch that records heartbeats and can save lives to a complex algorithm capable of diagnosing patients through the analysis of exams, technology is increasingly present in the health sector.

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More than just technology, artificial intelligence has been increasingly discussed and implemented in the area, bringing significant gains.  According to data from CB Insights, there are hundreds of artificial intelligence startups operating in the health sector and moving billions since 2013.

The word that defines today's A.I.  in medicine it is support.  As with all the exams that we have available in daily clinical practice, the systems are already able to be accurate in evaluations.

Today, software is capable of diagnosing patients in record time and with an accuracy greater than that achieved by human doctors - which does not mean that machines are replacing men.

Machines have a much greater processing capacity and do not have the fatigue factor, which makes diagnostic errors smaller, while only human beings have a subtlety in conducting the diagnosis that no algorithm can have.

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A very important point is that artificial intelligence needs medical intelligence to be assertive and, in fact, intelligent.

To achieve feats like quick and accurate diagnosis, machines need a large database to learn and train.

Among this data, there are exams and medical records that belong to the patient.  Any use without prior authorization may lead to penalties in the legal sphere.

According to the General Law for the Protection of Personal Data (LGPD), which came into force in August 2021, information related to the health of citizens is considered sensitive personal data, which requires greater care on the part of information collectors and handlers. .

The shared use of this type of information for the purpose of obtaining economic advantage, for example, is prohibited by law.

In a future scenario, experts believe that people will do a kind of data donation like they do blood donation nowadays.

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In Brazil, bill 21/2020 was created to regulate the use of artificial intelligence in medicine.  The text aimed to define the rights and duties of companies, individuals, public authorities and clinics that intend to use this technology.

Among the fundamentals addressed in the law are human rights, plurality, equality, non-discrimination, free enterprise and privacy.

Despite the A.I.  have the potential to improve nearly every aspect of the healthcare industry, many doctors are still skeptical about what will happen.

Skepticism stems from concerns that these types of changes could result in the end of the doctor-patient relationship and the loss of the vocation of medicine as we know it.

Theoretically, once repetitive tasks are automated by AI-based solutions, physicians would have more time for higher value-added activities, such as talking to patients about their diagnosis and more calmly discussing various treatment options.

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Unfortunately, health plans, consortia, hospitals and health companies do not seem to be concerned with the vocation and appreciation of the doctor.

Of course, there are still no robots capable of replacing medical work in its entirety, but it is undeniable that it will happen.  However, the issue is still more ethical and less technological.

When you go to the doctor, you are putting your life in someone else's responsibility.  Software does not have this commitment and is not able to answer for it.

Humans are very good at establishing emotional connections, expressing empathy, and giving patient-centered diagnosis and appropriate treatment strategies.

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Artificial intelligence will increasingly help us to individualize treatments.  What medicine needs is for artificial intelligence and medical intelligence to go hand in hand, hand in hand with the doctor as a true master of these new technologies.

Source: Kunal Thakur, Direct News 99, Googly Market