Advantages and disadvantages of artificial intelligence in healthcare

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way the healthcare industry operates, helping to improve everything from routine tasks to data management and drug creation. The healthcare industry is always evolving and looking for ways to improve, so it’s no surprise that healthcare providers and businesses are taking onboard machine learning and AI. Here we'll explore the advantages, but also the disadvantages of AI in healthcare.

What is artificial intelligence in healthcare?

Machine learning and AI in healthcare can provide data-driven support to medical professionals. Using algorithms and data, these technologies can identify patterns and deliver automated insights that help with common applications such as health monitoring, managing medical records, treatment design and even digital consultations. 

While there are many obvious benefits of AI in healthcare, some debate the pros and cons of the financial and clinical implications of relying on algorithms and data-driven technology in medicine. To explore both sides of the debate, we’ve put together the current advantages and disadvantages of artificial intelligence in healthcare.


Some advantages of AI in healthcare or medicine include:

  • Ability to analyse data and improve diagnosis
    AI-equipped technology can analyse data much faster than any human, including clinical studies, medical records and genetic information that can help medical professionals come to a diagnosis.
  • Carry out administrative and routine tasks 
    AI can automate many routine tasks, such as maintaining records, data entry and scan analysis. With less time being spent on administrative tasks, medical professionals can place more focus on patient care.
  • Health monitoring and digital consultations
    From wearable health tech, such as the Apple Watch and FitBit, to digital consultations via your smartphone, AI can allow people to monitor their own health, while also providing healthcare professionals with essential data.


Some disadvantages of AI in healthcare or medicine include:

  • Training complications
    AI technology needs to be extensively trained with curated data sets in order to perform as expected. However, due to privacy concerns, it can be difficult to access some of the data necessary to provide AI learning with the breadth and depth of information it needs.
  • Change can be difficult
    In any industry, change can prove challenging. Since the healthcare industry is crucial for patient care, the medical community need proof that AI will be effective, as well as a plan to show investors it is going to be worth the cost. Everyone working alongside AI technology will need to have an understanding of this technology and how it can assist them with day-to-day tasks.


There are many applications of AI in healthcare. Some are not widely used as yet, but as the industry is continuing to embrace technological advancements, we will see AI integrated into healthcare even more in the coming years. Some examples include:

Managing medical records

AI can help collect, store and analyse important data, including medical records. This can help medical professionals access the data they need faster and therefore work more effectively.

Treatment plans

By analysing a patient’s records, clinical research and expertise, AI can help to determine the best course of treatment for a patient, and assist medical professionals in finding a tailored and targeted treatment.

Drug creation

AI can contribute to the creation of new drugs by analysing data and existing medicines. Developing new drugs is costly and often takes years. However, AI can help to cut costs in this area of medicine and speed up drug creation.

What are the ethical issues of artificial intelligence in healthcare?

Artificial intelligence, in and of itself is ethically neutral. However, due to the nature of AI algorithms and the fact that they are man-made can often lead to certain biases which may create negative outcomes for patient care. Ethical considerations are one of the key elements when considering the pros and cons of AI.

A way to combat this is to ensure we are constantly assessing the performance of AI in healthcare, to provide feedback encouraging the AI to learn and adapt to new information.

What are common AI mistakes in healthcare?

Common AI mistakes in healthcare are often not too different from mistakes born out of natural human error. For example, AI-driven medical technology may fail to diagnose a tumour correctly, or a patient could be misdiagnosed due to a lack of AI understanding around speech recognition for different accents or dialects. It's important to remember that AI is man-made, and so constant supervision and feedback is necessary to get the most out of using AI in healthcare.

This also ties in to discussions around social prescribing, which is becoming more common in the NHS. Simply put, social prescribing is the process of healthcare providers referring their patients to community-based support services to aid in general health and wellbeing.

There's plenty of evidence to suggest that social prescribing leads to positive outcomes for patients, however, there can be a number of disadvantages of social prescribing when not done correctly. This method requires soft skills to help connect with the patient in the best way to help guide them to non-medical resources, and so healthcare providers should exercise caution when looking to integrate AI with social prescribing.

What role will artificial intelligence play in the future of medicine?

AI allows healthcare professionals to better understand the patterns and needs of their patients through in-depth data analysis.

As technology continues to develop and medical applications are discovered, doctors and nurses will be able to provide better guidance, support and feedback.

In the future, AI in healthcare has the potential to read images and scans, make clinical diagnoses, create treatment plans, and improve the delivery of care to patients.

Developed AI technology within medicine could reduce preventable human error by recognising anomalies, assist surgeons by understanding the ‘grammar of surgery’, and predict readmissions by developing an algorithm that identifies the probability that a patient will return.

How large is the AI healthcare market?

The AI healthcare market is valued to be a billion-dollar industry. With rapid technological advancements being made every day, AI is growing at an increased speed.

AI is revolutionary technology created during a digital era that has the prospectus to assist practitioners and patients.

Solutions offered by AI technology within the medical industry have already been proven to be more efficient and effective when delivering healthcare to patients.

Therefore, it is expected that the AI industry will continue to grow and support the healthcare system in the years to come.

How can we help with your healthcare technology?

Here at CHG-MERIDIAN, we provide tailored solutions to fit your healthcare technology budget, enabling you to embrace the intelligent solutions of the Information Age with confidence. To find out more about how we can support your healthcare technology project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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