‘Artificial Intelligence could be a remedy for health woes in SL’ | Daily News


‘Artificial Intelligence could be a remedy for health woes in SL’

Presenting opportunities in Sri Lanka at a forum in New Delhi
Presenting opportunities in Sri Lanka at a forum in New Delhi

“If Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools can be used to address the main health problems in Sri Lanka achieving the third sustainable development goal which is “Health & Wellbeing for All” will not be a difficult achieve,” said Medical Entrepreneur and founder, mydoctor.lk, Dr. Harsha Jayakody.

“Therefore it is utmost important to encourage “Medical Entrepreneurship” and out of the box thinking to use technology in correct way to solve health issues at individuals as population level of the country,” he said making a presentation on ‘Opportunities in Sri Lanka” at a forum organized by WHO & ITU in New Delhi recently.

Sri Lanka being a country which has universal healthcare via public sector, higher waiting times and congestion is seen in main state-owned hospitals and clinics.

“Due inequality of distributed physical and human resource as well as the availability of some services in the health domain, high congestion and lengthy waiting times are recorded in centers which are more resourceful in the main cities and tertiary care hospitals. As aging population in Sri Lanka grow, geriatric and NCD disease burden are bound to increase.”

He explained that discovering Electricity made a huge difference in the day-today lifestyle of the human. “With the growth of the world’s new technology, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) will do the same in the future by transforming the Human lifestyle to a whole new level. In simple English, Artificial Intelligence (AI) means a “man-maid thinking power”.

In AI, machines are made to think and act like humans where the machines will be able to perform basic skills such as learning, reasoning and problem solving. With AI, certain software can be created to solve real world problems very easily, smoothly and accurately.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a ground breaking introduction in Healthcare industry by providing assistance to the main stakeholders such as Doctors, Nurses, Consumers, Researchers, Hospitals, Pharmaceutical companies, Wellness initiatives, Wearables, etc. Presently many AI deployments are carried out worldwide in the Health sector.

AI based chat bots are used for initial advice regarding doctor availabilities, scheduling doctor consultations, identifying conditions based on the symptoms and triaging them. In primary care set-up in western countries, AI is being used by General Practitioners to identify patients who require more attention, with the help of their medical records and even give personalized care & protocols for each of the identified individuals. In addition, the primary care physicians can analyze the interactions with the patients and get suggestions on cases which are difficult manage, with the learnings from other physicians via software systems. AI is used in diagnosing critical diseases using medical imaging. AI technologies are used to identify as well as predict tumors in individuals by screening MRI/CT scans & X-ray images. In lifestyle management & monitoring, AI plays a larger role at present.

The AI technology is able to say how the individual will be prone to develop a Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) in the future and when he or she needs to be alert on the symptoms. It will even guide an individual on how to prevent development of NCDs like Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Certain Cancers in the future.

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