AI in Dermatology: Implications For Patient-Doctor Relationships

by The DermEngine Team on Oct 3, 2018

Since early ideas about the development of intelligent machines were discussed in the 1950s, the field of artificial intelligence (AI) has experienced exponential growth. Currently, the use of machine-assisted procedures has expanded to virtually all industries, including the field of dermatology. This article will discuss the applications of artificial intelligence in dermatology while presenting its implications for the patient-doctor relationship.

1. How is AI perceived by dermatologists and patients?
Despite the fact that AI technology has spanned more than five decades now, it’s been in recent years that it has made its most spectacular advances. AI has refined the algorithms used by machines to imitate the same cognition processes used by clinician experts in the interpretation of data to assist in complex medical cases.1 The same rationale undertaken by human experts can now be processed at much faster and accurate rates than ever been possible before. The advantages to this regard are undeniable.
  
AI can be an excellent ally for dealing with daily clerical activities that may be burdensome in a dermatologists’ practice. EMR systems can be optimized by intelligent dermatology software, applying algorithms to simplify the amount of time a practitioner needs to organize common procedures, thus leaving more time for patient care. The capacity of machines to learn and remember patient data make them ideal for on-time follow ups and detailed searches for cross-referencing patient history when providing diagnosis or treatment.

Artificial Intelligence-powered dermatology software
 
At the same time, studies show patients are receptive to integrate healthcare services conducted by trained machines, such as medical chatbots or virtual interviews.2 These approaches have revolutionized the way patients and doctors interact in regular consultations and how a practice can be streamlined for more efficient services. The current trend of AI development suggests that intelligent dermatology software will lead to new applications, as it keeps supporting more activities performed by humans.
 
2. Applications of AI in dermatology services
Dermatology has benefited from the incorporation of AI technologies in smarter analyses of patient data, improved clinical decisions and more efficient treatments.3,4 Perhaps the most remarkable improvement comes from the utilization of intelligent dermatology software, such as DermEngine. These programs offer tools, such as Visual Search, that allow for better dermatoscopic analysis. By comparing patient images against large databases of identified lesions, they help support clinical decisions in detecting potentially malignant spots.5
 

The rapidly changing nature of AI makes it an interesting player to contribute to the upcoming challenges experienced in dermatology, particularly from a technical viewpoint. The streamlining of clerical activities within EMR systems and the proper handling of big data connected to patient clinical cases are among the clearest ones.6 However, despite the positive technical aspects of this technology, there are also concerns about the effects that AI poses on human relationships in healthcare environments.

DermEngine Intelligent Dermatology Software for improved care outcomes

3. Can AI replace dermatologists?
In other words, do these trained machines have the capacity to become totally independent, outperforming human behavior in such complex activities? Despite its many advantages, the need for human interaction in clinical consultations remains imperative.4 This not only responds to the need for human input in data analysis and result interpretation, but also for the emotional component of human relationships. Actions driven by compassion, kindness, altruism and a spirit of service are irreplaceable by AI. The intrinsic human nature of these traits seems to draw the line on the penetration of AI-assisted practice in the dermatologist’s office.

Conclusion

Research and development initiatives are inherent to human nature as new discoveries are shaping the world into a technology-driven place. Such is the case of dermatology, where AI has brought advantages mainly in data handling and technical process streamlining. However, it’s clear that human intervention is still a requirement. Proper interpretation of data is crucial, but also the emotional side of patient-doctor relationship in serving fellow human beings. Working together, AI has the potential to bring many enhancements to daily practice by complementing dermatologists’ activities rather than competing with them.

-The MetaOptima Team

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Sources:
  1. https://bmjleader.bmj.com/content/early/2018/06/01/leader-2018-000071 
  2. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/frobt.2017.00051/full 
  3. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/2697219
  4. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2666717
  5. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature21056
  6. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41746-017-0012-2 

Topics: Artificial Intelligence in Dermatology Dermatology Dermatology EMR Solution Cloud Based EMR EMR Solutions Dermatology EMR Software Dermatology EMR System Dermatology EMR Dermatology Software Artificial Intelligence