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AI is advancing preventive medicine, promoting better health
By Ahmed Zahlan  |  Mar 15, 2024
AI is advancing preventive medicine, promoting better health
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AI draws much attention for transforming areas of healthcare such as cancer treatments and surgery, but its greatest impact lies in keeping more people healthy so they do not need such intervention, argues Ahmed Zahlan, a Fulbright Scholar doing his PhD on AI healthcare startups.

NEW YORK - Preventive medicine stands at an exciting crossroads, with artificial intelligence (AI) driving significant innovation. Traditional healthcare systems - characterized by their reactive approaches - mainly address diseases only after they have already taken hold. This post-treatment paradigm is far too costly and limits healthcare access in too many regions worldwide. AI's entry into this arena promises to accelerate a shift from this reactive model to a more proactive and patient-centric approach.1

Healthcare professionals can already efficiently identify risk factors, predict the onset and trajectory of diseases, and craft treatments uniquely tailored to individual patient profiles.As with all pioneering ventures, however, the marriage of AI and preventive medicine is not always smooth. This article will explore how AI is poised to improve preventive medicine, while also diving deep into the ethical concerns its adoption is likely to arouse. The aim is to offer insights into how AI will overcome existing healthcare system limitations and shape a healthier, less expensive future, one in which preventive measures take precedence over reactive ones.

Challenges beset current medical model

Given limited resources and personnel, the prevailing healthcare system is characterized by a mostly reactive approach, which involves waiting for overt symptoms before a diagnosis. This means many diseases are only identified at advanced stages when it is already difficult - or  at times impossible - to treat or reverse them.These delayed interventions lead to increased healthcare costs and diminished effectiveness of treatment, plus more stress for both patients and doctors. Further, the system's primary emphasis on treating evident symptoms overshadows the need to investigate the root causes of illnes

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