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AI and Healthcare: What to Look Out for

For those who don’t know me, I’m Elissa Goodman, a holistic nutritionist, cleanse expert, and renowned speaker on the power of integrative wellness. With over two decades of experience in the field, I’ve dedicated my life to helping individuals achieve vibrant health through a balanced approach to nutrition, lifestyle, and mindset. Through personalized nutrition plans and transformative cleanses, I empower my clients to take charge of their health and cultivate a deeper connection to their bodies. My mission is to inspire and educate others on the boundless potential of holistic living, guiding them toward a life of wellness, abundance, and radiant vitality.

What if I told you that artificial intelligence, or AI, wrote much of that personal introduction? Kind of cool but also a bit scary, right? While AI has been around for decades, it feels like it has really taken off in just the last year or two. From planning a travel itinerary to perfecting emails, the possibilities are seemingly endless with AI. But with any new technology comes the power to use it for good and to abuse it. One area of concern for me and other health experts is AI’s role in healthcare.

AI is a collection of technologies, including machine learning, natural language processing, and physical robots, all pertinent to healthcare today. These technologies can predict treatment protocols, analyze clinical notes, and even assist with surgeries. Clearly, AI has the potential to reshape modern medicine as we know it. To get an understanding of AI’s implications in the realm of healthcare, let’s discuss the pros and cons.

Pros of AI in Healthcare

Health Empowerment

AI can be a means of empowerment. Many healthcare topics are well-studied and heavily researched, but you may just not know much about them. So, instead of waiting for insights from a healthcare provider, you can ask AI and much of what you receive as a response may be legitimate. Appropriately utilizing AI can provide a sense of control and proactive engagement in managing your health. This empowerment may lead to informed decision-making (to a degree, more on that below), healthier lifestyle choices, and increased motivation to achieve and maintain optimal health.

Health Monitoring Apps

AI-powered health monitoring apps are slowly working their way into the market, offering real-time tracking and analysis of various health aspects, such as physical activity, sleep patterns, and vital signs. These apps can provide a comprehensive overview of your health status, making it simpler to prioritize your well-being. The continuous monitoring facilitated by AI allows users to make data-driven decisions regarding lifestyle changes, which may lead to improved health outcomes.

Nutrition and Exercise Plans

Ask AI to generate a week’s worth of meals based on specific ingredients and health goals, and you’ll get a response within seconds. AI can create recommendations tailored to your goals and preferences, streamlining the process of maintaining a healthy lifestyle by offering guidance on dietary choices and even exercise routines. AI can provide support for anyone seeking structured approaches to nutrition and fitness.

Cons of AI in Healthcare

Inaccurate Information from Unreliable Sources

A huge red flag for AI in healthcare is the potential spread of inaccurate information sourced from unreliable platforms. If AI relies on outdated or biased data sources (which is often the case), it may provide misinformation, leading to incorrect self-diagnoses or dangerous health decisions. We need to look out for misleading information and critically evaluate the source of it to ensure accuracy and reliability. 

Lack of Contextual Understanding

AI algorithms can’t understand the full context of your health situations, including unique past medical histories, preferences, and even cultural factors. This limitation can result in recommendations not personalized or tailored to your specific needs, potentially overlooking key aspects of your health. Be sure to pay attention to AI’s responses and see how they align with your health history. There may be more to the story than AI can wrap its “head” around.

Bias and Discrimination

The presence of bias in AI algorithms is a major concern. Bias can lead to discriminatory outcomes, unfairly affecting certain demographic groups and contributing to healthcare disparities. Addressing and mitigating bias in AI systems is crucial to ensuring equal healthcare recommendations. Look out for any health biases that may work their way into an AI response.

Limited Scope of Advice

While AI can offer some valuable tips and tricks for improving your health, it has a limited scope of advice and may not comprehensively cover complex or rare medical conditions. AI-driven health platforms are advanced, but they may not be able to give credible guidance about every health topic. Consulting healthcare professionals for more specialized and individualized advice will never become obsolete, so look out for AI’s inability to know everything about every topic.

Lack of Human Connection

When it comes to AI in healthcare, there is simply an inherent lack of human connection. AI lacks the empathy, intuition, and emotional support human healthcare providers offer. The absence of human connection can leave you feeling isolated or disregarded, especially when dealing with sensitive health issues or complex medical decisions. AI-driven interactions may also feel impersonal and transactional, failing to holistically address your needs beyond physical symptoms. Pay attention to how using AI makes you feel. It can’t replicate human relationships, so AI should be used to complement rather than replace the essential human element of care.

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AI is here to stay. So, instead of avoiding it entirely, it’s more important to talk about what to look out for to keep us feeling safe and empowered when using AI. Still, as I mentioned, there is nothing like having human interaction, especially in healthcare, which is why I offer one-on-one sessions to guide you along your health journey. From creating nutrition plans to providing that emotional support you just don’t get from AI, I’m here to help. If this sounds like an opportunity you want to explore, click here to book a session with me today.

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