Medical assistants are health care professionals who assist doctors in clinics and medical offices. Medical assistants work alongside physicians, mainly in outpatient or ambulatory care facilities, such as medical offices and clinics.
A medical assistant (or MA) is often considered a physician’s right hand. These allied health professionals assist in almost all aspects of patient care. Most clinical responsibilities are quite standard, such as drawing blood, checking vital signs, and providing general patient care. Depending on the workplace setting, MAs can also assist with other tasks, including giving injections and vaccinations, as well as performing electrocardiograms (EKG).
Typically, medical assistants are trained in both clinical and administrative responsibilities. They may show you to the exam room, take your vital signs, and check your height and weight. Medical assistants will ask about your symptoms and health concerns, and pass that information on to your doctor. Common administrative duties of a medical assistant include scheduling appointments, communicating clinical information to patients, and processing medical paperwork.
A virtual medical assistant can perform a variety of tasks, such as: 1. Responding to patient questions: The virtual medical assistant can clarify and respond to patient questions and queries via social media, emails, and phone calls. They can also handle payments, documentations, referrals and transcripts.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly gaining momentum across many industries. In the health sector, its impact is set to fundamentally change medicine, from drug research and development to patient care. With technology becoming a part of everyday life – and the healthcare industry adopting more of the latest developments – AI has become a topic of discussion, especially among medical assistants.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a set of computer systems designed to simulate human cognitive functions. These functions can range from simple pattern recognition to more complex problem solving and reasoning. AI can be implemented via robots (as often seen in movies) but it’s more likely that it will appear via a smart device, such as a smartphone.
Machine learning is a common and vital part of AI. These algorithms allow computers to learn independently, and this technology has proven extremely useful in making sense of large amounts of data and identifying patterns (especially those that would otherwise be missed by humans). For medical professionals, machine learning can also help automate certain processes such as recognizing and correcting errors in medical coding.
Virtual assistants (VAs) are perhaps the most recognized application of AI. VAs such as Siri and Alexa are becoming increasingly popular in our daily life, retrieving information and performing simple tasks such as playing music and making calls. A virtual assistant, however, can also be designed to carry out specialized functions. VAs can help medical professionals by taking over the routine tasks and enabling them to focus on the patients.
The healthcare industry is a growing area for the integration of AI-driven virtual assistants, designed to operate in response to text or voice interactions. While it may sound concerning to human medical assistants, their virtual “colleagues” are primarily designed to assist medical record navigation and transcription, as well as help patients search for medical information.
Some of the most popular medical assistance apps include Nuance, Suki (formerly Robin AI), and MedWhat.
A Raytheon BBN-led team will develop an artificial intelligence tool, Medical Assistance, Guidance, Instruction and Correction, or MAGIC, to assist combat field medics in 50 medical skills applied during common procedures. The medical assistant is being developed under a DARPA award.
To train the AI, the team will collect and label combat medical data sets comprising:
- more than 2,500 videos recorded in stereo to provide 3D data.
- nearly 50 million images to identify the correct sequence of procedures.
The tool will use DARPA Perceptually-enabled Task Guidance program’s consumer off-the-shelf augmented reality goggles, which will harness the AI to use visual and audible sensors that track tasks and guide field medics in performing procedures correctly and efficiently. The built-in cameras of the AR goggles observe the user’s actions, and AI verifies that steps are followed correctly, providing assistance—on request or when intervention is needed—in the form of auditory suggestions or visual overlays in the headset. Those prompts can include next steps, follow-on actions, or critical measurements such as elapsed time or dosing.
“The combat medical environment is challenging and chaotic,” explained Brian VanVoorst, Raytheon BBN scientist. “Our goal for the Raytheon BBN MAGIC AI tool is to help support personnel to provide guidance as needed without disrupting their concentration.”
Raytheon-BBN is teamed with Valkyries Austere Medical Solutions for this work.
The first demonstration of the new tool is planned in 18 months. Training data collected for the program will be shared with the research community.