Is Health AI Finally Having its Heyday?
Artificial intelligence has been bandied about in the healthcare industry for years but, if the 2023 health IT tradeshow circuit is any indication, health AI may finally be entering its heyday.
The HIMSS23 conference recently wrapped up, with roughly 35,000 healthcare professionals gathering in Chicago to showcase and explore solutions aimed at improving care delivery, patient outcomes, and operational efficiency. And much like the recent ViVE conference, there was no shortage of health AI news and innovation on display:
- Epic and Microsoft announced an expanded partnership
to bring generative AI to the EHR
- Salesforce showcased Einstein GPT functionality
to use natural language prompts in the CRM
- Caregility unveiled its own ecosystem of
AI-enhanced hybrid care solutions for virtual care
The focus on AI is unsurprising given the explosive popularity of platforms like ChatGPT. Mainstream access to AI tools is fueling innovation across industries as stakeholders look to leverage the technology in their respective fields. For healthcare, AI is rapidly moving from hype to practical application in both clinical and operational use cases.
“AI is currently in the spotlight, with a mix of anticipation and apprehension about its potential to alleviate staffing shortages and expand care in a challenged healthcare system,” observed Caregility Chief Product and Engineering Officer Kedar Ganta, who was among those in attendance at HIMSS 2023. “While some are still struggling to grasp AI’s role beyond the buzz, others are already exploring its integration with various technologies.”
Many of the health AI solutions in and entering the market aim to help providers improve patient outcomes by supporting the early detection of patient deterioration and adverse events using things like computer vision and contactless monitoring. Health AI tools can also improve the clinician experience by adding a digital line of support to simplify tasks, for example, using ambient intelligence tools to support clinical documentation.
As Caregility President and COO Mike Brandofino put it, “AI advancements will enhance clinical insight and enable care for more patients, in spite of challenges related to limited staff resources.Nothing can replace a knowledgeable, experienced caregiver, but how much more effective can they be if we augment the information available to them? Continuous virtual observation of patients, data capture through wearables, and access to predictive algorithms that can help providers anticipate conditions affecting patient outcomes will combine to improve care.”
The potential benefits are undeniable, but health AI implementation won’t come without its challenges. An overwhelming array of innovative health AI solutions are entering the market. As healthcare organizations pilot emerging technologies, adopting health AI solutions without introducing new tech silos and solution sprawl that may congest networks will be pivotal.
In a recent interview with HIMSS TV, Brandofino touched on ways virtual care platform integration can help hospitals and health systems more easily integrate health AI solutions into clinical workflows.
“There are going to be a lot of things that come on the market – shiny new objects – and not all of it is going to work,” said Brandofino. “Our approach through our ecosystem is to show that we can integrate one system in a room with [a variety of] different AI platforms.”
In adopting a platform approach, health systems are equipped to experiment with health AI solutions in a way that leverages existing virtual care infrastructure, rather than introducing an additional framework to manage new resources that might become obsolete.
“Combining virtual care solutions and AI technology yields tremendous potential to enhance and improve a variety of clinical workflows in acute care settings,” said Pete McLain, Chief Strategy Officer at Caregility. “Artificial intelligence has the potential to enhance and augment – not replace – care teams, helping them save time, capture more meaningful patient data, and support clinical decisions and interventions that lead to better care and improved patient outcomes.”
To learn more about Caregility’s AI-enhanced hybrid care solutions, contact us today.