kazakhstan-adopts-ai-into-health-careIn this modern world, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is having a positive impact on people’s lives in Kazakhstan, bringing the efficient technology that today’s health care systems increasingly need. More specifically, the country launched an AI health care device called PneumoNet to provide early diagnosis for the most infectious lung diseases.

Health Care in Kazakhstan

Here are a few key facts about health care in Kazakhstan:

  • Life expectancy at birth at 73.2 years in line with the global average.
  • The doctor-to-patient ratio stood at four doctors for every 1,000 people in 2014, exceeding the regional average of 3.3 and the global average of 1.8.
  • Lung disease is the third leading cause of death in Kazakhstan. Large cities and urban areas contributed to poor air quality, exacerbating lung diseases.
  • With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an already overworked medical team faced more pressure to assess data and recommend therapies as the number of patients receiving computed tomography (CT) scans rose from an estimated 60 to 100 per day, the World Bank reports.

In addition, the extraordinary scope of the pandemic brought attention to the health care system’s need for creative and economical approaches to the quick and precise identification and treatment of lung disorders.

Implementing AI

Incorporating AI into the health care system has several advantages. The first is greater efficiency. An automated system allows medical professionals to analyze patient data faster in order to deliver better health care more quickly. This can reduce the stress of the doctors that may already be overwhelmed.

Overall, PneumoNet allows Kazakhstan to effectively diagnose 17 of the most contagious lung diseases using AI techniques. These include pneumonia, tuberculosis, cancer and COVID-19. The Kazakh Research Institute of Oncology and Radiology (KRIOR) and the firm Forus Data partnered to develop and implement the technology.

“In the early days of the pandemic, frontline medical staff were introduced to working with the PneumoNet system. By May 2020, the system was used by three frontline hospitals in Almaty and Nur-Sultan, allowing radiologists to do their work in half the time and expediting the triaging of patients based on need for critical care and hospitalization. In addition, the system complemented the PCR diagnoses as the number of COVID-19 cases increased,” Dauren Baibazarov, the executive director of Forus Data told the World Bank.

A Better Future

Kazakhstan continues to prioritize the implementation of technology in health care in order to benefit patients. This is needed more than ever as the “wear and tear of medical equipment is at the level of 49.6%.” PM Smailov has made the decision to centralize medical equipment purchases in order to help remedy this.

Kazakhstan’s health care system and general state of health should advance with time and stable expansion. The continual development of medical technology is making it easier to identify illnesses and prepare to treat them when they are still in their early stages. This lessens the strain on people who live in larger cities and cannot afford quality health care.

Frema Mensah
Photo: Unsplash