How AI is Helping Women’s Health
The Brookings Institute defines artificial intelligence as machines responding to stimulation in a manner that is consistent with human response. Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly becoming part of our everyday life. Few areas are seeing as much advancement as healthcare and medicine.
5 Ways Female AI is Aiding Women’s Health
According to Health IT Analytics, over 80 percent of health-related organizations are now implementing artificial intelligence strategies. There are several ways AI is specifically improving medical outcomes for women. The following are several ways female AI is helping improve women’s health.
Detecting Cancer Earlier
There are several types of cancer that predominantly or exclusively affect women. These include breast cancer, cervical cancer, and ovarian cancer. Artificial intelligence is now providing earlier detection for these types of cancers. The following are two specific ways AI is working to improve cancer detection in women.
- MobileODT is using detection technology with artificial intelligence that can detect patterns invisible to the naked eye. This system can treat women in hard to reach areas of the world. The technology is quickly changing how medical professionals predict and diagnose cancer in women. Medical professionals are specifically using this to detect cervical cancer.
- According to Health IT Analytics, AI can now detect breast cancer earlier than radiologists. This involves analyzing mammograms through deep learning. The new technology may detect cancers up to two years earlier than conventional medicine.
Improving Pregnancy Outcomes
Globally, most women will experience pregnancy at least once in their lifetime. According to Blue Cross Blue Shield, pregnancy complications are up over 16 percent in recent years while childbirth complications are up over 14 percent. Female AI can increasingly help improve both pregnancy and childbirth outcomes. For instance:
- Artificial intelligence has even found correlations between environmental pollution and pre-term births. When using this type of information, medical professionals may help women who are pregnant avoid exposing themselves to certain situations or environments.
- AI can now detect and help diagnose birth defects. According to the National Institutes of Health, AI can monitor fetal heart rate during labor. AI is confirming disorders such as gestational diabetes and congenital birth defects. The NIH also states that AI technology can provide better outpatient care using at-home monitoring for high-risk patients. Monitors, along with telemedicine, can aid in the early detection of possible complications.
Identifying and Treating Mental Health Conditions
Because of Covid-19, mental health conditions and ways of dealing with stress are prominent issues in many women’s lives. Artificial Intelligence can identify, diagnose, and help treat mental health conditions. There are several benefits when using AI to treat those struggling with mental health issues, such as greater accessibility, quicker response time from health professionals, and higher levels of privacy.
Many women who aren’t comfortable revealing personal information or mental health symptoms to a medical provider may open up to an AI device. Chat bot counseling is an alternative to meeting with a human counselor. There are several apps available now that can help those suffering from depression and anxiety, such as:
- Woebot – This app has the ability to form a quick bond with users. Woebot can help treat depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
- Tess – Tess can provide access through web browsers, Facebook Messenger, SMS texting, and smartphone apps. This is a mental health bot that can interact with users by coaching them through difficult situations.
- Youper – Youper is a free app that offers support and coping skills for users. Youper can help you create a personalized plan to deal with depression and anxiety.
Narrowing the Data Gap
Venner Shipley states that throughout history, females were not part of most research trials because of the cyclic nature of their hormones. Therefore, most data from research was focusing on males. This led to dosage problems and even adverse reactions for females. This is likely part of the reason that women are 60 percent more likely to experience negative reactions to prescription medications.
Gathering and analyzing data sets are crucial to developing new medications and finding cures for different conditions. Since females are under-represented in most studies, new methods need developing that will narrow the data gap. It is important to collect and study data that is purposely in both male and female categories in order to know what works for distinct groups. Female AI is helping improve data collection through items such as wearable tech that can monitor health no matter where an individual is in a hormonal cycle.
Reducing the Gender Gap in Medicine
All the previous examples are specific ways that artificial intelligence is helping women achieve better outcomes in a variety of areas. Artificial intelligence is paving the way toward greater overall equality for women. One specific way to reduce the gender gap in medicine is to reduce the same type of gap in the field of artificial intelligence. According to Open Access Government, only 26 percent of professionals in AI and data are women. For female AI to increase in effectiveness, there is a need for more females to work in the field.
Increasing diversity starts with improving education for women as early as the elementary years and extending greater opportunities through college and graduate programs. For business and medical leaders, it’s crucial to close the skills gap for females. It’s important for you to find ways to help women make connections and build relationships. It’s also necessary to provide educational opportunities for women and expand internal development programs and leadership roles.
MarshMcLennan states that men and women experience and respond to diseases differently. They also point out that there is a male dominant mindset in medicine that can lead to disparities that put women at risk. These can include care delays, adverse drug reactions, and even lower survival rates. The solution is to encourage, promote, and support more women in science and medicine, and in particular, artificial intelligence. Once there is equal representation of women in these fields, female AI can continue to improve all women’s health.