The term “artificial intelligence” has entered the world of medicine and become an indispensable necessity nowadays due to the facilities provided at all medical levels, such as surgery, diagnostics, data analysis, and others. Artificial intelligence is one of the new pathways in the field of medical laboratories that have benefited from this development. Today, we hear about the creation of laboratories that simulate mental abilities, assist in data analysis, and provide a vision for predicting and supporting smart diagnoses of incurable diseases and helping in clinical decision making using artificial intelligence technology.
Today, medical laboratories have a great opportunity to benefit from artificial intelligence techniques, emerging techniques, and the significant medical and technical development. Some hospitals around the world have begun to adopt fully automated medical laboratories to analyze many medical cases. One of the benefits of artificial intelligence in this field is its ability to integrate a lot of data, analyze them, and detect accurate patterns, which contributes to alerting doctors about the physiological changes in the patient’s body and dealing with them.
The potential of artificial intelligence contributes to raising the efficiency of medical laboratories and achieving a revolution in diagnosing diseases and analyzing patient data. With an increased volume of patient healthcare data and a continuous rise in patient expectations, artificial intelligence will be a driving force for improvement across all stages of health care, especially diagnostic ones.
Automation of medical laboratories
Large investments in medical laboratory technology have contributed to the transformation of the laboratory mechanism from manual to automated; maintaining and analyzing information are carried out through the so-called “information automation”. This term includes the use of advanced techniques such as robots to carry out highly efficient diagnostic tests on humans.
The importance of the automation of medical laboratories and its enormous benefits made it an essential service indispensable in any clinical laboratory. This can lead to the acquisition of advanced techniques and the advantages that come with them in many laboratories, especially with the breakthrough we are currently witnessing in producing equipment and techniques by the most famous medical companies. This may contribute to coping with current challenges, such as the scarcity of skilled laboratory technicians working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the need to deliver high-quality results in terms of traceability, standardization of work, and reliability.
This technique, represented by automation, robotics, and laboratory information systems, is currently dominating medical laboratories, which contributes to testing samples and prepare reports about them faster and with lower costs and higher accuracy.
Since diagnostic tests are a key link in the healthcare chain, the automation of clinical laboratories plays a key role in reducing human mistakes and cases of delay in avoidable diagnoses, in addition to fast delivery of results, therefore increasing productivity, optimizing resource utilization, and, most importantly, enhancing the safety of the patients.
This field forebodes many benefits, including improved resources and enhanced accuracy and efficiency of laboratory operations.
The Automated Lab
Advanced techniques in the field of medical laboratories have provided the opportunity in many countries to establish automated laboratories with the lowest number of human beings. The automated laboratory depends on examining samples automatically without human intervention, which contributes to improving the accuracy of results and examining the largest possible number of samples in record time. These characteristics will reduce the burden on laboratory personnel.
Worldwide, many transformational development procedures are taking place by adopting revolutionary artificial intelligence techniques in medical laboratories. Some sophisticated clinical laboratories today use robots to test accurate amounts of blood, serum, and other body fluids from thousands of samples in one day to give very accurate and repeatable answers to clinical questions.
It does not stop here. Medical companies have introduced more sophisticated techniques into the work of medical laboratories by establishing medical programs designed to support the decision of doctors in diagnosing the pathological condition.
The automated laboratory can now have a system that tells the doctor if the patient is at risk of developing a disease. This system contains global risk indicators that predict a heart attack. Once the results of medical and diagnostic tests are introduced into the system, the doctor is warned that the patient is at risk.
This type of modern techniques in medical laboratories is based on analyzing information regarding the diagnostic tests performed on the patient such as radiographs, blood tests, and other tests, which have been entered into the electronic record and on the basis of which the patient is alerted if there is an imminent danger or not.
It should be emphasized in this context that the goal is to support medical and diagnostic decisions taken by the treating physician.
Advances in IT have allowed for relatively seamless digitization of patient information. Hence, the term “digitizing information” arose, which led to faster work performance with fewer mistakes, where handwritten information was replaced with digital information. By having an electronic record for each patient, a doctor or nurse can access the file and examine the patient’s tests, medical condition, and know whether he or she is suffering from a chronic illness or a particular medical condition, which would reduce medical mistakes.
Digitization-based programming has replaced many human tasks and decisions in the clinical laboratory, leading to faster workflows and fewer mistakes. Digitization has replaced the handwritten results to be compiled and forwarded to doctors.
Technology has evolved in this framework to include automated verification of laboratory results with minimal human intervention and high efficiency. This automated laboratory program can perform the required tasks frequently, thus increasing productivity. Medical companies in this field have taken into account the ongoing maintenance of these techniques and the optimal time to maintain them before they lead to unexpected problems.