Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Industry: Blessing or Curse?

Artificial Intelligence has revolutionised various industries by providing transformative solutions that simplify complex problems and enhance workforce efficiency. Artificial Intelligence in healthcare industry has introduced innovations such as predictive analytics for patient care, automated diagnostic tools, and personalised treatment plans, significantly improving patient outcomes and operational efficiencies. Beyond healthcare, AI is transforming industries such as manufacturing, finance, education, and customer service by automating processes, enhancing productivity, and improving decision-making. This integration of AI demonstrates its crucial role in modernising the workforce, particularly within the healthcare industry.

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What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial Intelligence refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines designed to think and learn like humans. These systems perform tasks like speech recognition, decision-making, and pattern identification. AI technologies include machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics, enabling machines to perform complex tasks autonomously.

In daily life, AI applications are widespread. Generative AI tools create text and images based on user inputs, aiding in content creation and customer service automation. Robotics use AI in manufacturing to assemble products, perform quality checks, and handle hazardous materials, enhancing productivity and safety. AI-integrated sensors are used for environmental monitoring, health diagnostics, and smart home devices, providing real-time insights and automated responses. 

Autonomous vehicles rely on AI to navigate and make driving decisions, processing data from sensors and cameras to detect obstacles, follow traffic rules, and optimise routes, aiming to improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion. AI's ability to mimic and enhance human intelligence is revolutionising many such aspects of daily life and work.

History of Artificial Intelligence

The evolution of AI dates back to ancient times with philosophical discussions about artificial beings, but its modern development began in the mid-20th century. Key milestones include:

  • 1943: Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts presented a model of artificial neurons, laying the foundation for neural networks.
  • 1950: Alan Turing published "Computing Machinery and Intelligence," introducing the Turing Test to determine a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour.
  • 1956: The term "Artificial Intelligence" was coined at the Dartmouth Conference, marking the birth of AI as a field.
  • 1958: John McCarthy developed LISP, a programming language specifically for AI research.
  • 1966: Joseph Weizenbaum created ELIZA, an early natural language processing computer program that could simulate conversation.
  • 1980: The rise of expert systems, which are AI programs that simulate the decision-making ability of a human expert, began to gain commercial success.
  • 2020s: AI technologies such as autonomous vehicles, advanced robotics, and generative AI tools like GPT-3 and DALL-E continue to evolve, impacting various industries and everyday life.
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Use of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare

Nearly two-thirds of physicians report that AI improves diagnostic accuracy and operational efficiency due to its multiple benefits: 

  • Time Efficiency and Automation: AI systems streamline administrative tasks such as scheduling, record management, and claims processing, allowing healthcare professionals to focus more on patient care. This efficiency can save significant time, improving overall operational productivity.
  • Improved Diagnosis and Pattern Recognition: AI enhances diagnostic accuracy by analysing medical data with precision. For example, AI tools can detect cancer in medical images with higher accuracy, improving diagnostic outcomes.
  • Personalised Treatments: AI analyses patient data to recommend tailored treatments. By integrating genetic and clinical data, AI helps create personalised treatment plans, improving treatment effectiveness and patient outcomes.
  • Enhanced Health Monitoring: Wearable devices and AI-powered health apps monitor patient health in real-time, enabling early detection of issues and preventive care. These tools can alert healthcare providers to anomalies, improving patient management and outcomes.
  • Disease Surveillance and Control: AI helps track and predict the spread of infectious diseases by analysing data from various sources, enabling timely interventions and better public health management.

Disadvantages of AI in Healthcare

While AI offers numerous benefits in healthcare, it also presents significant challenges and risks that need to be carefully managed.

  • Over-dependency and Errors: AI systems can sometimes make errors, leading to incorrect diagnoses or treatment recommendations. Unlike human errors, mistakes made by AI can affect a large number of patients simultaneously if the underlying algorithm is flawed. This over-dependency on AI systems can result in critical oversights and potentially harm patients.
  • AI Bias: AI systems are only as good as the data they are trained on. If the training data is biased or incomplete, the AI can produce skewed results. For instance, AI algorithms might underperform for certain demographic groups if those groups are underrepresented in the training data. This can lead to disparities in healthcare outcomes and perpetuate existing biases in the medical field.
  • Breach of Privacy: AI systems require access to large amounts of personal health data to function effectively. This raises significant privacy concerns, as sensitive patient information could be exposed or misused. Ensuring robust data protection measures is essential, but challenging, given the increasing complexity and volume of data being handled.
  • Ethical Dilemmas: AI in healthcare poses numerous ethical questions. Issues such as accountability for AI-driven decisions, informed consent, and the potential loss of human touch in patient care need to be addressed. There are concerns about who is responsible when an AI system makes a harmful decision, whether it's the developers, the healthcare providers, or the institutions using the AI.
  • Creating Disparities: AI has the potential to create or exacerbate disparities in healthcare access and quality. Advanced AI tools are often expensive and may be more accessible to wealthier institutions, leaving less affluent providers and their patients at a disadvantage.

Impact of AI in Healthcare

The advantages and disadvantages of AI impact both patients and healthcare professionals. For patients, AI can mean more accurate diagnoses and personalised treatments but also risks of privacy breaches and biases. For healthcare professionals, AI can enhance efficiency but also pose ethical and liability challenges. Professional indemnity insurance for doctors becomes crucial in this context, as it provides coverage against claims of negligence or malpractice potentially exacerbated by AI errors.

The impact of AI on professional liability insurance can be both positive and negative. While AI can reduce errors and improve operational efficiency, it also introduces new layers of complexity in terms of liability and claims processing. As AI technology continues to evolve, so too must the frameworks that support and protect healthcare professionals, ensuring they can confidently integrate AI into their practice while being adequately covered against potential risks.


The advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare is inevitable, driven by its potential to revolutionise diagnostics, treatment personalisation, and operational efficiency. However, to ensure that AI is used ethically and effectively, a balanced approach is essential. Implementing strong data governance is crucial to protect patient privacy and maintain data integrity, while rigorous monitoring for bias ensures fair and unbiased results across diverse populations. Developing comprehensive ethical frameworks will address accountability and decision-making challenges, and providing thorough training programs for healthcare professionals will enable them to use AI tools responsibly and effectively. By prioritising these strategies, the healthcare industry can harness the benefits of AI, improving patient care and healthcare delivery while mitigating associated risks.

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