Momentum has been building around the use of artificial intelligence to create more efficient business models and drive higher rates of customer satisfaction. The healthcare industry is certainly no exception, as a growing elderly population coupled with a shortage of healthcare professionals is putting increased strain of healthcare providers, from a cost and performance perspective.
AI is already being evaluated in many healthcare applications, from robotic surgeries to virtual nurses to patient diagnosis. At the recent HIMS Machine Learning & AI conference, Dr. Anthony Chang, chief intelligence and innovation office at CHOC Children’s in Orange County, California, confirmed there’s a high level of interest in AI and that it promises to deliver incredible benefits, including driving “true precision and personalized medicine.”
Accenture predicts the healthcare AI market will reach $6.6 billion by 2021, and has the potential to save the U.S. healthcare industry $150 billion annually by 2026, thanks to a range of application possibilities that will augment existing connected health solutions and increase their value to providers and patients.
Connected health is introducing new opportunities for collecting patient data to help drive better outcomes thanks to RPM, patient generated data, and other sources of information. In order to effectively manage the volumes of new data and turn it into actionable intelligence – either on a patient or population level – AI resources will be needed to sort and analyze the information and deliver it to physicians and patients in usable formats.
The integration of artificial intelligence into patient portals, scheduling systems, and other common patient resources has help eliminate wait times and create better patient experience. By using AI to help with common patient interactions – from appointment scheduling to updating patient records to prescription refills and virtual physicians – healthcare providers will be able to address a range of patient needs more quickly and without frustrating wait times. In addition, physicians and other clinical staff will be able to dedicate more time to serving patients with more complex or urgent needs.
Telehealth use is on the rise, thanks to a combination of benefits patients and physicians have enjoyed and a growing number of use cases. Artificial Intelligence has the ability to further aid telehealth engagements by creating efficient patient flow and simplifying connections between physicians and patients. That includes pre-session coordination to ensure both patients and physicians are properly prepared with the right information and tools. AI can also provide more efficient diagnoses based on telehealth interactions, reducing the time for human analysis and allowing for faster and more effective treatment.
Fraud & Security
Cyber security is a concern for every business. For healthcare providers, the immense quantities of sensitive patient data they collect and store – which is only growing with the use of remote patient monitoring and other automated data collection technologies – only underscores the importance of security. Healthcare fraud is also a growing issue that costs the U.S. economy between $68 billion and $230 billion with estimates on its cost impact between tens and hundreds of billions of dollars.
AI is already being to more effectively identify security breaches and identify fraud, and alert businesses and consumers when suspicious events occur. Computers are able to process much more information in real time than humans, and with access to patient records a key to better health outcomes, securing those records will be a critical piece of a successful practice.
As providers implement new connected health technologies, AI will play a role in driving new efficiencies and helping deliver better and faster outcomes, benefiting patients, providers, and payers.
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