How Will AI in Health Care Continue to Evolve?

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Healthcare worker points to virtual screen with AI features.Artificial intelligence (AI) has reshaped many modernized industries, and the successful integration of AI in health care could save an untold number of lives. According to Benhamou Global Ventures, the total public and private sector investment in AI in health care is on track to reach $6.6 billion by 2021. Explore the various ways AI could change health care and how you can get involved.

AI in Health Care

The three areas of AI seeing the largest investments in the health care industry are robot-assisted surgery, virtual nursing assistants and administrative workflow assistance. As such, AI will benefit doctors, patients and hospital administrations alike.

Surgery performed by robots is already a reality, and it could greatly lower the chance of human error, which in turn could reduce complications and improve patient outcomes. Virtual nursing assistants like automated pill dispensers could enhance patients’ access to vital medical care without increasing the need for clinical intervention. Some patient benefits of AI in health care will be indirect because a digital workflow can be optimized by AI systems to reduce administrative burden.

Even though AI may replace many tasks that doctors and nurses currently perform, the health care industry will continue to need talented medical and technical professionals. If you want to be on the forefront of these developments, a Master of Science in Health Informatics with a concentration in Health Data Science (MSHIHDS) degree could be the gateway you need to enter to get involved.

Skills Gained From an MSHIHDS Degree

An MSHIHDS degree on applying technology to health care in order to achieve better patient outcomes and improve the health care system. Since health care is intricate, the industry needs talented information technology (IT) professionals to further implement technology. An MSHIHDS degree enables students to gain valuable skills that will assist them in their careers.

Data analysis and interpretation

Data analysis, an essential process in health care, involves the use of different logical and statistical techniques in order to gain valuable insights from data, according to the Office of Research Integrity. An MSHI degree will expose students to these skills. Students will encounter topics such as data exchange standards, supervised logic, unsupervised logic, and “fuzzy logic.” Further, they will use common programming languages like Python in order to manipulate health care data and gain expertise.

Technology and Computing Skills

In an MSHIHDS degree program, students will learn commonly used system configurations within the health care system. Technology topics covered include security systems, knowledge management, emerging care models, health information technology and data circulation. Through mastery of these topics, students will gain a holistic view of how technology intersects with the health care industry, as well as how they can comply with and improve upon existing standards and practices.


Health informatics professionals need effective communication skills in order to be productive team members. For projects that require collaborative effort, communication skills can increase efficiency and promote healthy teamwork among peers. MSHIHDS graduates will receive ample training in this skill. Moreover, the public relies on talented communicators in order to stay up to date on important health issues and concerns. With an understanding of both a theoretical and an applied approach, MSHIHDS graduates will receive tools they need to become excellent communicators.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking involves making important decisions by interpreting facts. MSHIHDS graduates will gain critical thinking skills by drawing connections between the various subjects they study. Applying this knowledge will enable them to confront emerging health care problems and react in an efficient, informed manner.

Example Courses in an MSHIHDS Program

This section examines some of the courses students will take at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and how each can benefit them as learners.

Artificial Intelligence

This course serves as an introduction to the various uses of artificial intelligence (AI) within health care. AI will eventually reshape the ways in which health care systems function, and this course will prepare students to work with this emergent software. Students will be exposed to a number of topics that relate to artificial intelligence, such as data exchange standards and computational logic.

Information Sources in Biomedical and Health Information Sciences

A course in information sources in biomedical and health information sciences prepares students to interact more efficiently with research information sources. By understanding how literature reviews are written, students will be able to better synthesize valuable healthcare information and sharpen their communication skills.

Health Information Systems and Design

Health Information Systems is a project course which allows students to examine health care systems through the lens of design theory and systems analysis. Studying health information systems will help improve students’ overall technological skills, and experiencing the real-world practices of health care systems will enable students to gain confidence.

Communication Skills in Health Informatics

Communication Skills in Health Informatics is an application course in which students assess and practice effective written and oral methods of communication skills necessary for health informatics professionals. Communication is an invaluable tool for medical professionals, and this course will explore the various ways students can improve this skill.

Topics in Health Informatics

Topics in Health Informatics will examine how health informatics functions in the real world. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) defines health informatics as “the integration of health-care sciences, computer science, information science, and cognitive science to assist in the management of healthcare information.” Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of technological methods and procedures in order to better serve patients.

If an MSHIHDS degree sounds right for you, The University of Illinois at Chicago offers an online degree program. Explore topics such as AI in health care, and gain the skills you need to succeed within a fast-paced professional environment. Below you will find the full curriculum of the university’s  MSHIHDS program. This degree could be your next step toward a rewarding career in health care.

Recommended Readings

5 Emerging Technologies and Their Impact on Health Informatics

What Communication Skills Do You Need to Succeed in Health Informatics?

The Role of Health Informatics in Preventing Errors in Health Care


CIO, “3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Changing the Healthcare Industry”

Forbes, “AI and Healthcare: A Giant Opportunity”

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, “Healthcare Informatics”s”, “Top 12 Ways Artificial Intelligence Will Impact Healthcare”

Office of Research Integrity, Responsible Conduct in Data Management