Spiraling costs, closed facilities, capacity issues, staff burnout, staff shortages, lots of chaos, sounds like a sick industry, and that industry is healthcare. Can artificial intelligence help solve some of the problems hospitals and healthcare providers face? There has been progress on that front, not fast enough, but progress nonetheless.
While interest in healthcare AI is high, “the acculturation level of C-level executives is lagging behind, especially for organizations that would need it most: pharmaceuticals, medtechs, and hospitals,” a recent report from Capgemini. report it’s related. The problem, say the authors of the study, is the data. “Improving the patient care pathway and improving care delivery remain high on organizations’ agendas,” according to the report’s co-author team, led by Charlotte Pierron-Perlès. However, only about a third of healthcare organizations surveyed by Capgemini prioritize the availability of patient information. “We do not see great progress from 2021 [the year of the previous study].”
The good news is that many healthcare providers are stepping up their AI work. “The healthcare industry is now starting to deploy AI and machine learning solutions on a larger scale and sophistication,” he says. tony ambrosioCIO at South Florida Baptist Health. “Artificial intelligence and machine learning will increase your ability to make sense of the vast amount of data available.”
Where opportunities abound “is in the use of AI and ML to improve the patient experience around access to healthcare, meaning better access to care and actionable, meaningful health data,” continues Ambrozie. “Intelligent situational routing based on consumer record and consumable analysis of medical record data, which help consumers and patients better manage their health, are obvious next steps in the journey simply because there is a wide experience from other industries.
Of course, healthcare is one big conglomeration of moving parts, which complicates things. It’s ripe for disruption, especially where AI and automation can fill the gaps for repetitive and routine tasks. “Healthcare is an enormously complex sector and possibly the most regulated business in the country,” he says. mudit gargDirector of Qventus. “The sheer volume of menial and repetitive tasks that are part of patient care prevents caregivers from performing to the fullest of their licenses and concentrating on the work that is most critical to patients. AI can simplify many of those processes.”
How does AI continue to evolve to meet the needs of patients? “Truly understanding a patient’s long-term health needs, not just their transactional care needs, requires analyzing an unimaginably large volume of data: genome, demographics, medical history, environmental factors, symptoms, and much more,” Ambrozie says. . “Realistically, it is impossible for vendors to do this analysis manually. AI and ML are evolving to produce unique solutions that can automatically perform this vast data processing and analysis with the ultimate goal of helping clinicians identify safe and personalized treatment pathways for a patient.”
The challenges and changes required to advance AI go far beyond technological considerations. “With data entry and artificial intelligence in healthcare, we are facing a profound cultural shift that will not happen overnight,” according to Pierron-Perlès and his co-authors. “Many organizations are developing their own acculturation initiatives to develop the data and AI literacy of their resources in compelling formats. AI goes far beyond technical considerations.”
There has been a lot of concern about too much AI dehumanizing healthcare. But, once carefully considered and planned, it may result in increased human care. “People, including providers, imagine that AI will be cold and calculating without regard for patients,” says Garg. “In reality, AI-powered automation for healthcare operations frees clinicians and others from the manual, menial tasks that prevent them from focusing their full attention on patient care. While other AI-based products can predict events, the most impactful ones are incorporated into problem-solving workflows and drive action from frontline users.”
New dynamics emerging in the healthcare system thanks to AI include the following:
- Increased patient-focused: “Not only stakeholders now have a better understanding of what patients Really they want, but they also feel better equipped to address their needs,” say Capgemini’s Pierron-Perlès and co-authors.
- Smarter use of capacity. “The capacity of providers and hospitals is limited and will come under increasing pressure due to the aging population seeking care,” says Ambrozie. “Therefore, it is imperative that capacity utilization, be it provider or facilities such as operating rooms, is optimized as much as possible. Using AI and ML to better forecast demand and optimize resource utilization is something that is gaining traction across the board. And more care and earlier is better care that saves lives”.
- Opportunities to increase income. “AI-powered care automation helps healthcare systems increase surgical revenue by maximizing operating room utilization through enhanced scheduling,” Garg suggests. “By automating elements of the discharge process, it also allows hospitals to shorten the average stay of patients. At the same time, hospitals are battling staff shortages exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. They no longer have the bodies to perform procedural tasks and need to free up their providers to do the more important work. AI-powered care automation makes this possible.”
- More fruitful investigations: “Start-ups, Big Pharma, and research organizations are reshaping the R&D landscape,” observes the Capgemini team. “We are seeing more approaches to selecting the most promising drug candidates, sometimes leveraging quantum. The race for more efficient drug development is generating excitement around revised processes, new data sources, and value-added use cases that address pain points for patients and practitioners.”