Three Ways AI Technology Promises to Address Healthcare Delivery at Scale

“For AI to add the most value and for physicians to embrace it, these innovations should support, not supplant, the patient–physician relationship. Healthcare is fundamentally a social enterprise, powered by committed, caring, and collaborative connections between the humans involved. AI implemented poorly risks pushing humanity to the margins; implemented wisely, AI can free up physicians’ cognitive and emotional space for their patients, even helping them to become better at being human.” – Steven Lin, MD, Executive Director, Stanford Healthcare AI Applied Research Team

David Rhew M.D.
Global Chief Medical Officer and VP of Healthcare, Microsoft

Dr. David Rhew

Three Ways AI Technology Promises to Address Healthcare Delivery at Scale

With the dramatic rise of high-fidelity sensors in wearables, patches, and medical devices, clinicians can accurately monitor the health of their patients inside and outside of the hospital. The challenge is that the petabytes of data that are captured and communicated can easily overwhelm the busy clinician. Artificial intelligence (AI) promised clinicians the ability to evaluate large data sets from multiple sources, at scale, and convert the results into outputs that are understandable and actionable across a range of specialties. When applied to digital health, AI can help (1) streamline administrative processes, (2) improve the quality and safety of care, and (3) enhance the experience for both patients and clinicians.

When applied to digital health, AI can

Let’s start with streamlining administrative processes. Clinicians are tasked with reviewing charts, filling out forms, and documenting notes into electronic health records (EHRs). Clinicians also receive numerous messages and tasks from patients, colleagues, and administrators, many of which could potentially be addressed by other members of the care team. Today, AI can help sort, triage, and perform manual tasks. For example, AI computer-assisted physician documentation (CAPD) acts as a scribe during appointments, providing suggestions and aiding in thorough record keeping. This can help free up valuable time for clinicians to practice more patient-focused care and empower every member of the care team to perform at the top of their license. This is particularly important in digital health, where clinicians do not have enough time in the day to comprehensively review biometric monitoring data coming from their patients.

AI may also have a major impact on clinical outcomes. Improving patient quality and safety requires that organizations establish scalable processes to assess individual patient risk and adopt team-based approaches that can act in a timely manner when risk levels change. AI can help analyze large data sets (including biometric data) to generate individualized risk indices and predict outcomes – like Mayo Clinic’s use of AI guided ECGs to help detect abnormal heart rhythms before symptoms are noticeable. AI can also help coordinate care by identifying bottlenecks in the patient care journey before they occur.

In terms of enhanced experiences, Generative AI can help translate complicated medical concepts into terms and language that a patient can understand – and it can do so with empathy. With mixed reality, visual AI may be able to help reconstruct a patient’s organs from their CT and MRI scans into an interactive 3-D rendering. This can enable more effective informed consent and could potentially alleviate patient fears and anxiety prior to procedures.

When we look at the attitudes towards adopting AI to help patients, Abbott’s latest research show perspectives were overwhelming positive with nearly 60% of patients and 50% of healthcare leaders saying they would trust AI to help them make the correct diagnosis or recommend the best course or treatment; however, only 35% of physicians felt the same way.

Would trust AI to help them make the correct diagnosis or recommend the best course or treatment
Would trust AI to help them make the correct diagnosis or recommend the best course or treatment

Digital health enables the real-time capture of biometric data and digital communication with the provider. In the next generation of digital health, we can look to AI solutions that strive to remove barriers by streamlining workflows, converting biometric data into actionable insights, and improving patient-provider communications.

Read more about opportunities for technology to address patient care in Abbott’s latest research here.

Download the Full Year 3 White Paper

Enhancing Positive Outcomes for Patients: How shared decision-making and consumer technologies can help drive patient adherence and compliance

MAT-2306960 v2.0