Healthcare has long needed a tool like computer vision to deal with issues that the naked eye or inattentive mind cannot resolve.
Now, with the emergence of vision-based smart hospitals, such issues can be detected and ironed out without hassles.
In our current AI and IoT-powered times, with ‘smart cities’ and ‘smart classrooms’ the prominent buzzwords for tech geeks everywhere, it was inevitable that the space which perhaps needed the ‘smart’ prefix more than any other would get it sooner rather than later. Therefore, the growing emergence of smart hospitals is not exactly surprising, at least for healthcare experts who have witnessed the increasing involvement of intelligent technology in their field for some time now. IoT and especially AI have the potential to transform healthcare in more ways than one in the future too.
However, here we will focus on a sub-component of AI—computer vision—that can add new dimensions to the already incredible world of smart hospitals.
Some diagnostic robots and systems use computer vision to closely monitor a patient’s face and bodily movements to deduce what type of ailment they may have. Research studies involving deep learning and natural language processing are used to create such systems and train them to conduct patient interviews. Such ‘pre-appointment’ interviews are essential for the analytics staff in smart hospitals to take down important health assessments of patients who have come for a checkup. Once the interview is complete, and the important details are generated and assessed, a designated doctor receives a detailed report of the same.
Ellie, a diagnostic robot developed by the Institute of Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California, uses AI algorithms and models that are trained with thousands of datasets. So, during an interview, the robot asks the patients various types of questions. While they respond to the questions, the system draws upon its vast ‘knowledge’ to track their movements and come up with a diagnosis.
Some patients who visit a hospital for a harmless checkup may end up getting sicker due to the pathogens present in the hands of a nurse, physician or other hospital workers. Hand hygiene-related issues are one of the main reasons why patients’ health conditions worsen when they visit a hospital or a clinic.
As we know, smart hospitals feature several cameras and sensors. These devices are strategically placed in areas where all the people and hospital staff entering or leaving healthcare centers can be monitored. More importantly, whether such individuals wash their hands and follow other hand hygiene practices is also monitored. As we know, a hospital is filled with surfaces and objects containing pathogens or virulent bodies. Therefore, people are advised to wash their hands after touching any such surfaces or objects.
With the help of RFID tags or other components, staff members and hospital visitors can be directed to follow hand hygiene practices while they are in a hospital or before they are about to leave one. Computer vision has a future in healthcare. As vision-based smart hospitals increase in number around the world, we will be able to see the influence of computer vision grow even more in healthcare.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.