Embracing AI: Your personal health assistant

News & Innovation

by Anne Marie Eschberger, MD

Apr 25, 2024

From streamlining administrative tasks to enhancing diagnosis and treatment, artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming every aspect of the healthcare journey. AI-powered predictive analytics help hospitals anticipate people’s needs and allocate resources more efficiently, reducing wait times and improving overall satisfaction.

While AI can never replace medical knowledge, AI-driven virtual assistants are being used to help healthcare providers with documentation, scheduling and other routine tasks, allowing them to focus more on caring for people.

But on a more personal level, AI can also help you manage you and your family’s health by guiding you to make better choices every day. Let's look at how AI can be your go-to buddy for meal planning, workouts, mindfulness and more—all customized just for you.

How to use AI for meal planning

Let's face it—meal planning can feel like a chore, especially when life gets busy. But with help from an AI-powered app, meal planning can make creating well-balanced meals much easier.

Many AI-powered programs can analyze your dietary preferences, nutritional requirements, favorite ingredients and budget and use it to generate a comprehensive meal plan for the week—breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, with recipes and grocery lists tailored to your specifications. You can also input any dietary restrictions, specific cuisines you enjoy or meal preferences.

You can also tell an AI app what you have on hand for help making delicious meals with what's already in your fridge. Some AI tools can help you stick to a well-balanced diet, too, by keeping tabs on calories and nutrition and making sure you're nourishing your body properly.

How to use AI for exercise routines

Getting into a workout groove can be tough, especially if you're not sure where to start. AI apps developed by the fitness industry use algorithms to understand your fitness goals, level of experience and what exercises you like to help plan a routine. The best workouts are the ones you will actually do and learn to enjoy, so you can develop a fitness routine that will last.

These apps evolve with you over time, offering tips and tricks to keep you motivated and reaching your individualized goals.

How to use AI for meditation and mindfulness

In today's hectic world, finding your Zen can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. AI-powered meditation apps can help you find your inner peace. These apps offer guided sessions customized to your needs, whether you're a meditation newbie or a seasoned pro. They're packed with calming exercises and sleep aids to help you unwind and recharge.

AI apps can also send reminders and notifications to encourage you to engage in mindfulness practices throughout the day, fostering mindfulness in everyday activities and helping you integrate meditation into your routine.

More advanced AI-powered meditation apps can analyze your meditation habits and preferences to provide personalized recommendations for meditation techniques to make your practice even more effective.

Other people use wearable devices to monitor your body’s physical indicators such as heart rate. This data can provide real-time feedback on your meditation states, helping you track your progress.

Apps for health monitoring and tracking

AI-powered health trackers on cell phones have been available for a few years, and they become more sophisticated with every new model. These devices monitor everything from your heart rate to your sleep patterns, providing insights and nudges to keep you on track and alert you to issues that need attention from you or your doctor.

Health coaching apps can offer personalized guidance and support to you adopt healthier lifestyle habits, such as increasing physical activity, improving sleep quality and managing stress.

But remember, while AI is just one tool, and it’s no substitute for professional medical advice. If there is an abnormality or questions noted in any app or tool, please seek medical advice–further diagnostic testing may be needed.

Use any of these devices with caution; they are meant to be a tool, rather than add additional stress, worry or anxiety. Before making any big changes to your routine, be sure to chat with your doctor or healthcare provider. Need to book an appointment? Find care near you.

Interested in using technology to manage your healthcare? Download the MyBSWHealth app today to see how easy it can be message your doctor, get virtual care and pay your bills.

About the Author

Anne Marie Eschberger, MD, is a family medicine physician at Baylor Scott & White Clinic – West Villa Maria Clinic. She received her medical degree and completed her residency in family medicine at Texas A&M University Health Science Center. She currently resides in College Station with her husband, two daughters and son. Her hobbies include anything outdoors, photography and reading.

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