Is artificial intelligence (AI) here to stay? The answer is a resounding yes, according to industry experts. But what exactly is artificial intelligence? Put simply; AI is “getting a computer to do things which, when done by people, are said to involve intelligence,” according to John McCarthy, a founder of AI research.

In healthcare, AI can process large amounts of data, speed up and deliver more accurate diagnoses, test drug interactions, and perform routine billing, scheduling and paperwork. Here’s a brief look at a few of AI’s most significant transformations in healthcare:

Chatbots. Healthcare providers are on the verge of cracking the chatbot industry wide open. Late adopters are starting to use chatbots to schedule check-ups, answer basic medical questions, complete transactions and for one-time consultations online.

Cloud services. Patients no longer wait for appointments to get test results. Patient data is entered into cloud storage services and accessed via patient portals. Blockchain and biometric advances are making cloud services more private and secure than ever.

Digital consultations. AI has vastly improved digital consultations by developing deep learning data derived from millions of real cases. Today platforms can ask patients relevant, personal questions. Further, AI allows systems to understand and process complex sentences, making it easier to answer patient questions and recommend action.

IoMT. Allied Market Research predicts the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) alone will reach $136.8 billion globally by 2021. The Internet of Medical Things connects apps, smart sensors and wearables via the Internet. Providers use them to remotely monitor chronically ill patients, remind patients to take their medications, measure blood pressure and glucose levels and track vital signs and heart health. Even caregivers can track the movements and routines of their elderly loved ones.

Robotics. Medical robots are faster and more accurate than humans, making them invaluable tools. Physicians use them to remotely examine and treat patients, assist in surgery, rehabilitate stroke also play a role in the pharmaceutical industry, handling powders, liquids and sticky substances in automated dispensing systems.

Telemedicine, 3-D printing, virtual reality, big data and analytics — these are all additional areas in which AI is making dramatic advances in healthcare. So, the question is not “Is artificial intelligence here to stay?” It’s “Are you ready?” Let’s work together to stay ahead of the AI game.