As humans become increasingly more connected to their devices, artificial intelligence is seeping into more fields, including hospitals. In fact, artificial intelligence may one day play a role in delivering babies, The Conversation says.
Based on the capabilities of artificial intelligence, machines might be able to one day read maternal and fetal movements, breathing patterns, heart rate, blood pressure, and even read the emotional states of mom and baby alike. Artificial intelligence could also “get more accurate at determining which combinations of patterns would lead to which outcome,” meaning it could decide whether a baby should be born vaginally or via caesarean section.
The Conversation says that we might be a step closer to making artificial intelligence a common presence in delivery rooms. Researchers from MIT have created a robot that help physicians in the delivery room; “they found that the robot’s recommendations were accepted 90% of the time and that the number of errors were similar whether the robot was there or not,” says The Conversation. As a result, the researchers determined “it should be safe and efficient to use AI during childbirth.”
What medical decision makers should keep in mind:
While artificial intelligence might help physicians with decision-making and the physical aspects of childbirth, they aren’t as helpful with the emotion side of things. According to The Conversation, “birth…is not a transaction enterprise that only requires monitoring and measuring to be both safe and fulfilling. It is an interaction story between the woman, her baby, her partner, labor supporters and healthcare providers.”
As a result, human interaction is still needed; that interaction, whether it is words of encouragement during a difficult delivery, or handing a new baby to his or her mother, humans are the only ones who can provide care, companionship, and human emotional and psychological support. When each of these are provided to a mother during a delivery, they “improve birth health outcomes for both women and infants, but could have long term effects into newborn’s adult life,” The Conversation says. Plus, “current versions of AI are not actually that good at understanding human emotions or talking to people.”