Health+Tech | How artificial intelligence can improve healthcare delivery
Artificial intelligence tools are a key factor in improving the efficiency of healthcare delivery and an important benefit of full digitisation. Automation of processes, machine learning, and predictive analytics are a few ways in which administrators can take advantage of technology to improve their business and better serve their patients and staff. This also may reduce the workload on individuals who would have to manually input and analyse data, for example.
As we continue to experience growth in technology and as healthcare facilities and governments opt for digitisation of services, artificial intelligence will continue to grow and develop to suit the market. The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed administrators, in the healthcare industry and beyond, to advance their plans to digitise their offerings where possible and provide automated and remote services to customers. This is why we saw the growth of online services as well as telemedicine soon after the start of the pandemic and adopted as mainstream more and more as patient and provider needs continued to evolve.
According to marketsandmarkets.com: “The global artificial intelligence market size, which stood at around US$58.3 billion in 2020, is expected to grow to US$309.6 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 39.7 per cent during the forecast period. Various factors such as growth of data-based artificial intelligence and advancement in deep learning and need to achieve robotic autonomy to stay competitive in a global market are expected to drive the adoption of the artificial intelligence solutions and services.”
There are several benefits to embracing artificial intelligence in business, especially healthcare. Administratively, artificial intelligence can be used to ensure that data remains purged so that budgets and spending are based on actual information and not outdated data sets. This is often seen in health records that are paper based. Once digitised and the technology is applied, these can be better managed to prevent duplication.
Other benefits include using the technology to merge and manage information from various sources. This is useful if, like in a hospital setting, various operations are streamed into one central data management system.
The technology can allow for seamless integration and analysis of patient data so that caregivers can get an overall picture of the situation. This will improve patient care and allow the caregiver to better manage their own day-to-day activities.
The technology is also useful when determining costs per patients and other required financial inputs to facilitate long-term planning.
According to healthcareitnews.com, “Robotic process automation appears to have gained the most traction up to this point, including task automation in key areas such as eligibility, pre-authorisation, and patient account follow-up and collections management.”
The best example of this that we currently have in Jamaica is how health insurance is adjudicated online and in real time. The technology allows the insurance companies, in conjunction with healthcare providers, to ensure that patients are eligible for insurance payment for the services they request.
Once they are deemed eligible, they can immediately be told the out-of-pocket portion so that they can decide whether to move forward. The provider also protects revenue by being able to get the assurance from the insurance company that the interaction will be paid for. This is all done through the use of technology and a system that has set automated standards. The loss incurred when paper-based claims were made, and in some cases not paid because of ineligibility or exhaustion of patient’s available funds, is eliminated with this real-time process.
Importantly, the data that we collect through digitisation can serve several needs if properly used and managed. Once we mine that data, through the use of smart technology and artificial intelligence, which is embedded into most health information management systems, it can be used to analyse and determine trends such as disease outbreak, availability of medication, and health-seeking behaviour. Predictive analytics can then be applied to this to make meaningful predictions for the future and enable proper planning.
There is a lot to gain from using technology and artificial intelligence in business and in particular healthcare. Providers and patients are set to benefit immensely from its adoption and use.