using AI to enhance healthcare

Empowering Healthcare Professionals: The AI Revolution

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, a silent revolution is taking place — one powered by artificial intelligence. As we stand at the crossroads of technology and medicine, universities are at the forefront of ushering in a new era where healthcare professionals are empowered like never before. From advanced diagnostics to personalized treatment plans, the AI revolution is not just a concept but a tangible force shaping the future of healthcare. Join us on a journey through the transformative landscape where code meets compassion and discover how the integration of AI empowers healthcare professionals to provide more efficient, accurate, and personalized care to those who need it most.

Improving Healthcare and Healthcare Education with Artificial Intelligence

One of the universal benefits of AI lies in its potential to improve healthcare for patients and professionals alike. According to Professor Michelle Lea, Director of Clinical Education for the Physician Assistant Institute (PAI), AI has already demonstrated its ability to increase the productivity of practitioners. “There’s AI technology that helps auto-populate patient education,” she explains. “We can also expedite note-writing to save time in a clinical setting.”

According to Linda Tampellini, assistant professor of Nursing, AI can also increase the efficiency of on-the-spot research. “For example, a patient is admitted with an unusual diagnosis that you are unfamiliar with,” she offers. “With Chat GPT, you can find the latest research about the condition and gain a better understanding before talking to the patient.”


Likewise, Tampellini explains how tools like Chat GPT can be a resource for patients. “When you start a new medication, for example, Chat GPT can help explain the side effects and risks in language that’s easy to understand,” she highlights. “The patient can clarify what they don’t understand, ask the right questions, and discuss areas of concern.”

Furthermore, AI can provide medical professionals with tools for educating patients who speak other languages. “You can ask for medical instructions in French, for example, and Chat GPT will give you the translation. You do have to be careful, though,” she urges. “Chat GPT doesn’t guarantee its accuracy.

Redefining diagnosis?

Michelle Lea notes that artificial intelligence also has the potential to improve diagnosis. “There’s a lot of discussion about AI being incorporated into radiology studies like x-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and similar tests.” The idea is that AI might be able to detect or identify something the professionals might overlook.

Linda Tampellini further suggests that this may only be the start of it. “AI or machine learning has been used with gene mapping to identify genetic disorders and improve gene editing tools such as CRISPR. Where AI will take us remains unknown as we gain a deeper understanding of the capabilities.”


Part of the mystery lies in its ability to learn and adjust its knowledge. Tampellini emphasizes that AI will become increasingly refined the more often it is used. “Currently, artificial intelligence is used to detect skin cancer, predicting healthcare trajectories of patients, and analyzing radiographic data, for example,” she details. “The more we use AI, the better it comes at predicting and identification.”

For Ajay Shrestha, UB alum and seasoned engineering expert, his experience suggests that AI’s application will extend beyond diagnosis — opening doors to faster pharmaceutical solutions. “Drug discovery is a lengthy process that involves trial and error, often with up to 10,000 potential drug candidates,” he explains. “AI has shown a lot of promise in reducing the time and cost of that process.”

Trusting in your gut

For some professionals — not only in the medical field, but across industries — the widespread application of AI has given rise to the fear of artificial intelligence replacing jobs traditionally performed by humans. Within healthcare, at least, Lea and Tampellini both stress that AI lacks the nuanced understanding necessary to assess a patient.

“In medicine,” Lea describes, “we always talk about your ‘clinical gestalt’. It’s that gut feeling where you take into account everything you’ve learned over the years, as well as your anecdotal experience, and apply it to a given scenario.”


Expanding upon this, Tampellini urges medical professionals — especially those just entering the practice — to avoid over-relying on artificial intelligence. “AI does not have that sixth sense of being able to eyeball a patient and say, ‘I know something isn’t right, even if it’s not showing up on tests yet.’ You need some experience to gain that feeling, and we cannot train people to ignore it in favor of what a computer is saying.”

Analyzing the ethics

While medical professionals worry that AI will eventually occupy human roles, patients experience other concerns — privacy being one of the most pronounced. “AI says it doesn’t keep the data, but we know it stays somewhere in the background,” Tampellini suggests. “Whether they acknowledge that they’re keeping information or not, once it goes out there, it never goes away.”

Shrestha reiterates Tampellini’s point, explaining that new measures will be necessary to ensure confidentiality. “Privacy is definitely a concern. So, I think regulations have to catch up with this technology,” he offers.

Another conversation causing concern surrounds the issue of bias. “Along with privacy, that’s another major concern with AI,” Shrestha shares. “It’s as good as the data it was trained on. We have to be aware of this before blindly following these technologies.”


However, provided that the input is impartial, Lea believes AI may be capable of reducing bias. “A professional might give preferential treatment to one population or another without even being aware they’re doing it, whereas a computer has the potential to exclude those factors,” she explains.

Still, Lea notes that the black-and-white judgment of artificial intelligence may have repercussions. “When your resources are limited and you have to make life-or-death decisions, computers lack the compassion humans have for patients,” she reflects. “While it can be helpful to justify decisions based on a computer’s data points, we’re the ones who have to execute treatment and potentially deal with the emotional and moral implications of a decision.”

Food for thought

  • How might AI present unprecedented challenges for medical practitioners and their patients?
  • Could a computer ever be capable of replicating authentic human judgment and compassion?
  • As AI is increasingly incorporated into healthcare, what legal challenges might emerge?

Did you know that University of Bridgeport had the first master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence in the state of Connecticut? Be at the forefront of this innovative technology — learn more today!