6 insights on how artificial intelligence could transform anesthesia

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Healthcare organizations must overcome the perception artificial intelligence is still developing so the technology can become a helpful support tool in the specialty, according to Anesthesia Business Consultants President and CEO Tony Mira.

Here are six insights on how AI could eventually work in the anesthesia sector:

1. AI will primarily automate cognitive work. Anesthesia might never be fully automated because it involves dexterity-based labor, according to anesthesiologists John C. Alexander, MD, and Girish P. Joshi, MD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

2. Current robotic devices don't have the dexterity required for tasks such as tracheal intubation, venous cannulation or neural blockade.

3. However, AI could be used in anesthesia to develop more advanced clinical decision support tools based on machine learning.

4. For example, the perioperative platform Touch iQ integrates an anesthesia information management system and automated medication management system with a digital preoperative assessment tool. The tool utilizes AI to suggest therapies and provide patient risk profiles.

5. Ultimately, AI and machine learning could enable anesthesia to become a true perioperative medicine specialty rather than just an intraoperative specialty, according to Drs. Alexander and Joshi.

6. AI could assume some of anesthesiologists' cognitive workload and support "a renewed emphasis on the doctor-patient relationship," Drs. Alexander and Joshi said.

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