How Can Artificial Intelligence Transform Healthcare For Women?

In an important session at the Women Writers’ Fest, Dr Priya Balasubramanian and Dr Anjali Malpani discussed with SheThePeople how artificial intelligence can prove to be a transformational change when it comes to healthcare for women

Pavi Vyas
Aug 22, 2023 12:59 IST
Women Writers Fest
In an important session at the Women Writers Fest, Dr Balasubramanian and Dr Malpani discussed with SheThePeople how artificial intelligence is crucial to the medical field and why it can prove to be a transformational change when it comes to healthcare for women. 

In conversation with Ragini Daliya, Dr Anjali Malpani and Dr Priya Balasubramanian delve into AI's role in medical science and how would it benefit women's healthcare which has for long languished in India. Powered by Gytree, the panel discussion focussed on the buzzword AI with insights from gynaecologist and author Dr Anjali Malpani, and physician and author Dr Priya Balasubramanian.

How Does The Future Look Like With AI In Women's Healthcare?

The moderator of the panel and senior editor at SheThePeople Ragini Daliya started the conversation by bringing to light a recent survey conducted by Google and Northwestern University that states AI could be the key to solving women's healthcare. She asks Dr Anjali Malpani, who is known for establishing the first IVF clinics and bringing tech to fertility in India, about her thoughts on AI in women's healthcare. 


AI Can Be Instrumental In IVF 

Dr Malpani being an infertility specialist explained how AI can be used in multiple applications in her field as being a new frontier, it can change a lot of decision-making in the process of IVF treatments. She stated while it cannot solve infertility issues, it can prove to be a help to many clinicians and embryologists to improve the success levels of IVF. 

She further elaborated how AI could ease the workload of embryologists and help them in better decision making leading to success in grading the right embryos that can be transferred by keeping track of embryos and scanning them instead of the manual tracing that embryologists currently do. AI can also grade whether the embryos are right to be transferred or frozen. "It can also be used for the best sperm counts, especially in cases of oglio asthenospermia or poor morphology where the sperm counts are of low motility, testicle extraction of sperms, or low sperm counts. In fact, it can also help clinicians in decision-making and better guide and personalise the treatments by the patients dealing with infertility treatments as clinicians have to make a lot many decisions and AI can help ease the pressure of it which could enhance the success rate of the treatments."


AI Reducing Risks Of Liver Transplants And Diseases

Our second panellist, Dr Priya Balasubramanian, who is a gastroenterologist and transplant hepatologist was asked about her thoughts on AI-powered algorithms being a great assistance in decision-making. 

Dr Balasubramanian shared her experience working in transplant hepatology, and how they have been developing models using AI for a year and a half to predict how their patients will do after the transplantation to make better decision-making. "As in a few cases of cirrhosis or end-stage liver diseases, some transplantation outcomes are great while other patients don't even make it past the first year of the transplantations. With multiple complications in transplantations, the AI models take the data of the patients right after they enter the waiting list for the treatment and tell the doctors about the risks of poor outcomes after the transplantation right before even starting the transplantation which can reduce risks at a magnificent rate," she recalled. 


Dr Balasubramanian also explains how AI can also help in detecting Liver cancer and other diseases early by the patients' data which can help in faster cure and make the disease less mortal. 

AI - A Predicting Tool In Medical Research

Dr Balasubramanian reiterated the anatomy of AI-powered algorithms while following traditions bound with old thinking methods in research associated with diseases and treatments. "AI blocks ethical concerns outside our research and applications. With AI and its mathematical way of bringing out the outcomes and results of for example certain risks, possibilities etc. in certain types of patients, groups etc. It depends on doctors on how they use the information that AI provides to prescribe to patients."


Can AI Help In Normalising Discussions Around Infertility Issues?

As Dr Malpani in her book Untold Stories Of Infertility talked about how patriarchy plays a huge role in shaping the discourse around infertility, we asked her whether AI can help fill the gap of how we can still not have reasonable discussions in our families about IVF treatments. She explained, "Infertility is not just a medical procedure or a condition, but what is being ignored the most is that it is an emotional rollercoaster ride full of guilt, turmoils, grief, depression, anger with oneself or God, self-blame and so much more."

While doctors focus on advances and treatments, what AI can add is the success rate of bringing a change in the journey, but it does not have an emotional angle to the treatments and journey of infertility treatments. 


Dr Malpani also enlightened us about how there are counsellors and psychiatrists for the emotional turmoils attached to infertility treatments but there will be soon AI generated altars to initially ease the patients by responding to some of their basic queries which can ease the work of other medical professionals as well. 

This panel discussion had furthermore interesting topics apart from Artificial Intelligence and medical sciences. Discussions about the number of women in STEM, childbearing laying the onus on women, and gender-biased roles.

More About Dr Priya Balasubramanian and Dr Anjali Malpani


Dr Anjali Malpani is one of the pioneers in the field of fertility treatments in India with around thirty-three years of her journey in the area she has given some significant contributions. Her book Tries Sighs And Lullabies is a must-read chronicle talking about the most intimate and untold real-life stories of love, hope, and endurance. 

Dr Priya Balasubramanian is a known medical professional who is a gastroenterologist and hepatologist based out of Sacramento, California. A lot of her work has been published by NPR and more. She made her debut as an author with her novel The Alchemy Of Secrets which is a powerful commentary talking about the perils of castism, bigotry, family belongings and more. 

Watch the discussion here:

Suggested Reading: Women Writers' Fest: Does ChatGPT Threaten Writing And Creativity?

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