Artificial intelligence (AI) has been part of tech innovation for a long time.  Its potential, however, hasn’t been widely understood until more recently, as connected devices and networks have started to create an information storm that would be difficult to navigate without automation and AI.  The combination of data from connected devices, the massive computing power that is now available to power AI and machine learning, and complex algorithms that are capable of enabling machines to emulate human thought processes have brought AI into the spotlight in many industries, including healthcare.

Connected health can support AI as a healthcare tool by providing the data necessary for AI engines to learn, and ultimately to analyze patient conditions and recommend treatment.  Thanks to patient portals, connected devices in physicians’ offices, remote patient monitoring devices, and even consumer devices like heart rate monitors and smart watches, a constant flow of data from patients to AI databases will help build the reliability and accuracy of AI decisions and drive benefits to patients and providers alike.

Personalized Healthcare

By analyzing constantly growing data sets, AI could not only help identify at-risk patients, but can determine the best treatment options based on all available factors.  By providing patient-centric data-driven solutions, the theory is that physicians will be able to deliver healthcare solutions that are tailored to each patient, resulting in optimal outcomes.

Improved Care

By leveraging national and even global data, AI can help reduce errors in diagnoses, medication, or other components of healthcare that could have negative effects on patients.  In fact, a study of patients at two Massachusetts hospitals found that AI generated more than twice as many medication error alerts than traditional methods, with 92% of them being accurate.  The results could potentially save $1.3 million annually to the hospitals.  A separate report found that 75% of medical staff using AI say it has produced better treatment predictions than traditional models.

Reduced Physician Burnout

Physician burnout continues to be an issue for healthcare providers, as doctors are faced with excessive amounts of manual reporting.  Connected health solutions can not only help automate some of the data collection and reporting, but AI tools optimize physicians’ schedules to maximize the time they have to treat patients – and minimize manual recordkeeping.  According to a recent study, 78% of healthcare professionals using AI in their operations say it has improved workflows, and 79% say AI has helped avert burnout.

Collaborative Care

By enabling faster access to patient data and analyses, AI can increase collaboration between internal staff as well as with other providers and specialists.  This can not only improve quality of care, but also supports value-based care models that are becoming increasingly popular, and providers already using AI say they spend two-thirds more time collaborating with other staff.

There was once a fear that AI would replace humans.  The truth is that AI and connected health solutions can supplement physicians’ efforts by providing faster and better information that will drive better outcomes.  As AI is adopted by more providers, the results can have benefits for all providers, who can leverage the data created by each connected engagement.

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