It’s National Health It Week! This week, Ambra team members will be sharing some of the unique insights they’ve gained since working in #HealthIT.
When some people think of artificial intelligence or machine learning, memories from IRobot or Dark Mirror appear – intelligent robots replacing humans, demanding more power, and people losing all control.
The notion that AI robots will replace human workers has existed since the inception of automated machines. For the first time in history, machine learning is allowing data scientists and robotic engineers to approach the threshold of true autonomous intelligence. Just think of self-driving cars as an example. In the healthcare industry, artificial intelligence has seemed to penetrate the sector in the blink of an eye, especially surrounding imaging analytics and diagnostics. As a new member of the healthcare IT industry, I can attest to the fact that AI’s reach is growing and that it is not something to be feared but rather embraced.
Deep learning algorithms can read CT scans faster than humans and can comb through immense volumes of data in EHRs. New AI imaging software developed by Stanford University performed better than doctors in a study that put the two head to head diagnosing pneumonia.
However, working alongside physicians, AI algorithms can alleviate some of the very stress and burnouts that compel physicians to opt for an early retirement. Automating some of these routine tasks, such as EHR documentation and admin reporting, can allow humans to focus on the complex challenges of patients with rare diseases or chronic conditions and thereby move the entire healthcare industry forward.
Being at a healthcare IT company that provides an imaging platform for hospitals and health systems, I believe that a blend of human experience and digital automation is the optimal end result. People do not want doctors to cease existing entirely in favor of a strictly robotic medical experience, no matter how accurate the automated results.
Physicians and patients do need to understand that the industry is changing. Patients can now easily research their doctors, including educational background, specialties, and reviews about them from just a few clicks on the internet. When people enter a hospital or an urgent care, they can now expect to see electronic logins and patient portals where they can schedule appointments and pay. Gone are the days of paperwork and CDS.
Healthcare IT is evolving, and I am excited to have a front-row seat. AI will inevitably be seen more and more in our society, and it is up to healthcare leaders to utilize this resource and regulate it so we can reap the numerous benefits and applications it has.