The Top 2 AI Technologies Expected to Save Healthcare Billions

In recent years, artificial intelligence has proven it’s capable of changing and improving our lives.  In the coming years, AI is expected to streamline processes across a wide range of industries, particularly healthcare A recent Accenture report found that AI may be able to generate as much as $150 billion in annual savings for the healthcare industry by 2026.

According to Accenture’s findings, robot-assisted surgery and virtual nursing assistants stand to yield the greatest savings. In fact, approximately one in four U.S. hospitals already uses the surgery assistance robot called da Vinci to some degree. By 2015, the robots had performed nearly half a million annual operations.

Robot-Assisted Surgery

The concept of a robot performing surgery used to be a scene in a science-fiction movie, but not anymore. In fact, the technology already exists. Consider the feats of the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot, or STAR.

In one study, researchers programmed the robot to perform a procedure in which a pig’s intestines are stitched back together after being cut through during an operation. While STAR required minor human guidance during some of the trials, most of the time it successfully performed the procedure on its own.

Perhaps more striking is the fact that the robot’s stitches were generally less prone to leaks than those made by human hands. While it may be some time before robots replace surgeons, this proof of concept indicates that they could play a very important role assisting physicians in the near future.

Another healthcare AI technology providing surgery assistance is the da Vinci robot. It has already leant its precision to over 3 million surgeries. It continues to improve the patient and doctor experience by offering greater dexterity than a human hand, and therefore make procedures safer and even less invasive.

Experts are quick to point out that da Vinci and similar AI technologies in healthcare haven’t reached the point where they can think and solve decisions like a human surgeon. However, they can help surgeons perform delicate moves with much greater accuracy and safety than ever before.

Researchers predict that future iterations of these robots will also help physicians interpret what they see when looking inside a patient. This will significantly decrease the amount of time it takes to make treatment decisions.

healthcare AI

 

Virtual Nursing Assistants

Robots that perform delicate procedures may be impressive, but don’t show off the full potential of AI in healthcare. AI offers the most impressive benefits when it has the ability to learn.

That’s why people working in the healthcare industry, especially nurses, should take note of a recent experiment involving a robotic surgical assistant. By uploading pictures of basic arm movements and having human participants guide a robotic arm, the robot was able to learn how to perform those movements independently.

Utilizing a healthcare AI bot for the purpose of handing a nurse or doctor a needed instrument may not seem that useful, but there are many instances in which it can significantly improve and streamline treatment. Understaffed hospitals could use robots to offer assistance when not enough nurses are available. Unlike humans, who can get tired during long procedures, a robot will be able to help for hours on end without making errors.

The Savings Are Endless

AI for healthcare can also help diagnose patients. This will save physicians a lot of time because instead of scheduling an appointment, patients can remotely provide an AI assistant with a list of their symptoms. The AI won’t just relay this information to the physician, it will also help interpret the findings to offer a probable diagnosis.

Keep in mind that these are just two general applications for AI in healthcare. Artificial intelligence is also likely to boost savings in the healthcare industry by offering administrative workflow assistance and fraud detection.

Together, all these applications save hospitals, physicians, and patients a significant amount of time and money. They boost the efficiency of every aspect of the healthcare process, from diagnosis to surgery, and in the meantime also help to conserve resources.

3 Ways AI Will Solve Major Problems for the Healthcare Industry

Imagine this: you’ve been dealing with chronic pains for some time and are considering major surgery. Before you take this big step, however, you visit multiple doctors for their opinion on your upcoming surgery. During this process, you find that you’re having an incredibly difficult time collecting the notes you need from your multiple previous doctor visits.

As frustrating as the aforementioned scenario is, it’s also a common one. So it’s not hard to imagine how the promise of solving these kinds of problems for doctors, patients, and hospitals has stirred up excitement for years.

Not only does AI for healthcare promise to make doctors’ jobs easier, it could also fundamentally change the nature of  patient care. The following three examples  illustrate some  essential ways AI can boost overall efficiency and effectiveness and transform healthcare for everyone.

1. Clears up insurance confusion and bolsters verification

Receiving  any kind of initial medical treatment for anything, from a minor injury to a chronic illness, is more often than not, a frustrating, drawn-out process. The current nature of insurance plans contributes to the problem. Statistics indicate that more than half of insured Americans struggle to understand what their plans cover. Even more, Americans find it incredibly difficult to find physicians within their networks. As a result, many people end up waiting much longer than recommended before starting their required treatment.

Thankfully, AI for healthcare applications has the capability to change all of that. Tools like the Zocdoc Insurance Checker reduce friction for patients by relying on AI to determine what a plan does and does not cover. Inevitably, it helps customers choose the right plan in an efficient,  timely manner.

With Zocdoc Insurance, customers simply upload a photo of their  insurance card, which is then automatically stored in your account. Before you book an appointment, the app will use the information from your insurance card to verify whether they cover the procedure. Additionally, it will let you know of an available doctor in your network.

It’s a simple concept, but one which will benefit patients in substantial ways.

AI for healthcare

2. Streamline communication between patients and physicians

Physicians don’t just provide care when you’re sick. They can also offer advice to help patients live healthier lifestyles.

Of course, few people have the time to visit their doctor every time they have a question about their wellness. Luckily, AI is solving the problem. Case in point is Doc.ai, a new product that allows users to input key information such as their  gender, age, and weight. It also lets them include a list of medications they take. When  connected to a Fitbit or other wearables, the app has even more data for managing customers’ health conditions and treatments.

The result is a detailed file on your overall wellness. Patients will be able to “converse” with an AI doctor, asking questions like “How can I lower my cholesterol?” The app generates answers based on the information on file. If the AI doctor, or agent, cannot answer the patient’s question they can determine whether they need a human physician.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Doc.ai’s creators also plan to release products that will interpret blood tests and other lab results for both patients and physicians. This is another way AI will reduce the amount of time it takes for patients to receive treatment. With too few doctors available to evaluate lab results quickly, it helps to have a technology on hand that can reduce the workload.

3. Helps hospitals sift through unstructured data that they can easily overlook

Subtle behavioral shifts, especially from those suffering from a mental illness like anxiety or depression, are often the first signs of bigger problems on the horizon. However, catching these subtle shifts when they happen can be challenging. This is especially true when you’re a busy physician with several patients to care for.

Now thanks to AI for healthcare, people can organize and manage anything from photos, videos, recorded dialogue, physician notes, sensor data, and genomic information in a realistic way. For instance, several companies are developing AI technologies that can identify when a person’s vocal patterns, facial expressions, and even key biomarkers indicate a change in emotional or mental state.

It’s rather exciting to think of a time in the not-so-distant future when a chatbot has the ability to “notice” that you’re experiencing severe anxiety.  Examples, like the three mentioned above, represent only a small sampling of the ways in which AI for healthcare is transforming the industry. These applications do, however, prove that, if done correctly, AI has the potential to dramatically improve the treatment experience for everyone involved, both healthcare professionals and patients.

Innovations in Healthcare: Leveraging Alexa for Patients on the Box Platform

We’ve been working with our friends at Box to imagine and execute a future scenario in healthcare, applying Amazon Alexa and Box Platform to the challenge of tracking medications and compliance to a medication regime for patients in the home.

As Ross McKegney, Director of Platform at Box, recently announced:

At Box we spend a lot of time thinking about the future of work and building the cloud content management platform that will make this future a reality. Today we’re delighted to highlight one of our partners on this journey, Y Media Labs, who is working with Box to develop a series of visionary demo applications for regulated industries.

Take a look at how our Alexa skill can help patients and hospitals manage drug intake, ensure regulatory compliance by insurance agencies, provide personalized care by physicians and manage drug efficacy during drug trials.

At Y Media Labs, we build what others don’t dare to.

Are you interested in taking your personalization strategy to the next level, getting more sales and driving up your customer engagement metrics?

We can help you get there, but don’t take our word for it – our work speaks for itself.

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