Improving patient health care with AI
By Martin Dube, Vice President, Public Cloud APJ, Rackspace
Tuesday, 21 November, 2023
While AI has been a prominent discussion for over a decade, in the last six months it has taken over every conversation in technology. It seems every industry is scrambling to see how AI — and more specifically, generative AI — can reshape how it operates.
For health care, the technology still needs to overcome a few key challenges. One of the biggest is breaking down data silos so that their data can flow securely in and out of AI technologies.
Health care: AI laggard or leader?
The healthcare industry has traditionally lagged behind in terms of technology adoption. According to the McKinsey Digitization Index, health care is one of the least advanced industries in digitisation. Changing technology in health care takes time due to the high stakes that any potential failing could have in terms of human lives.
An alternative perspective is that health care has just been deliberate in its adoption of advanced technology, making smart choices in areas that matter. While the healthcare sector has been slow to embrace new technologies, there have been notable areas of significant progress and innovation, providing reasons for optimism regarding future advancements. Many organisations have embarked on digital transformations, enhancing their ability to fulfil their missions and goals.
The future of AI in health care
Irrespective of the current state of health care, nearly all forecasts point to a forthcoming surge in the utilisation of AI in the healthcare industry. There are numerous advantages to be gained in terms of the technology’s capacity to analyse vast amounts of data, including unstructured data stored in various formats like images, medical claims and clinical research trials. Within these vast resources, AI can aid in recognising patterns and insights that elude human detection, among other valuable contributions.
We foresee new opportunities for health care to leverage AI around personalised medicine, disease prevention, treatment optimisation, hospital outpatient services, and leveraging ESG and Gen AI to augment talent by assisting in driving precision medicine.
Gen AI can analyse large amounts of genomic data and offer tailored insights to support healthcare advancements. When healthcare organisations embrace AI, it yields substantial benefits for everyone involved, including the organisation itself, healthcare practitioners and patients.
Helping our beleaguered healthcare practitioners
AI has the potential to significantly benefit healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses and clinicians. When hospitals integrate AI and machine learning platforms into their systems, they bolster their technology infrastructure. The benefits of embracing AI include:
- Streamlining time-consuming tasks: AI can automate and simplify time-consuming routine tasks that clinicians typically handle, reducing their administrative burden and freeing up their valuable time.
- Enabling more time for direct patient care: By automating repetitive processes and paperwork, AI allows healthcare practitioners to allocate more of their time and attention directly to patient care, improving the quality and depth of their interactions with patients.
- Enhancing diagnostics: AI-powered diagnostic tools can augment a clinician’s ability to detect and prevent diseases at an early stage. AI systems can rapidly analyse large datasets, helping practitioners make more accurate and timely diagnoses, which can be critical in ensuring the best possible outcomes for patients.
Making health care better for patients
AI has the potential to revolutionise the patient experience in health care, bringing about several promising advancements. Envision a healthcare landscape where a patient’s visits to a doctor’s office begin with seamless automation. Front desk processes, such as form filling and sharing medical history, can be digitised through the application of intelligent document processing and generative AI tools. AI and generative AI-driven automation have the capability to extract data from various formats, including images and PDFs, ensuring that information can be reused and is interoperable. This automation also extends to the submission of insurance claims, simplifying the insurance process:
- Streamlined administrative processes: Patients can enjoy a more efficient and convenient experience with AI-driven automation handling administrative tasks, such as paperwork and data sharing. This leads to reduced wait times and smoother interactions with healthcare providers.
- Improved quality control: AI-powered devices can be used by healthcare practitioners to capture real-time documentation for educational and quality control purposes. These devices can record surgeries, assist in automating procedure documentation and ensure that the highest standards of care are maintained.
- Enhanced medical record accessibility: AI-driven solutions can make medical records more accessible and transferable, enabling patients to have their health data readily available and easily shared between healthcare providers. This can lead to more coordinated and personalised care.
- Efficient insurance processes: AI can simplify the submission of insurance claims, making the process quicker and more efficient for patients. This reduces the administrative burden associated with healthcare expenses and ensures that patients can access the benefits they are entitled to more easily.
Seizing the opportunity
AI has the potential to greatly improve the patient experience by automating administrative tasks, enhancing access to health care through virtual consultations, ensuring quality control and simplifying various processes within the healthcare system. These advancements ultimately lead to better patient care and increased convenience.
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