Updated: Aug 28
AI plays a crucial role in the transformation of healthcare now and in the future. The possibilities of AI are endless with a potential to improve patient outcomes
With the popularity of and skepticism about large language models (LLM) and other AI tools, hype about AI continues to increase. In good news, the hype is worth it – AI holds substantial value to various economic sectors, including healthcare. There is a clear paradigm shift toward using AI-powered technology to improve processes and outcomes.
For many, the excitement around AI is due to its potential to reduce administrative stress and achieve greater productivity. Executives, leaders, and medical professionals are embracing the new dawn of artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, big data, and other technological advancements. This latest cycle is referred to as the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0).
As these emerging technologies become increasingly popular, the healthcare industry is not left behind. Many medical providers are curious about how they can engage with and reap the benefits of artificial intelligence. Whether it's conversational AI, predictive analytics, machine learning, or physical robots, AI is dramatically reshaping patient and provider experiences and the methods providers use to deliver care.
The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in the healthcare industry, making digital health technologies like telehealth, telemedicine, and virtual consultation crucial for the delivery of healthcare services. This catalyzed a digital transformation in areas such as diagnosis and patient experience. Since then, AI has grown increasingly popular, leading many health providers and hospitals to believe healthcare will heavily incorporate AI.
Understanding AI in healthcare
In healthcare, AI is an umbrella term that defines how human-related technology applications, such as machine learning, natural language processing, and cognitive technologies, can be applied. AI improves health outcomes by analyzing large amounts of data quickly and predicting accurate results and treatment plans. Besides its numerous medical benefits, AI is directly addressing some long-standing challenges faced by doctors and nurses.
Prior to the pandemic, approximately 50% of doctors and nurses reported experiencing burnout, stress, and anxiety due to high administrative workloads. These are precisely the challenges that advanced AI technology aims to address. By transforming healthcare providers' workflows using tools like conversational AI, processes such as repetitive admin tasks and Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan (SOAP) note-taking become automated. In this setup, doctors and nurses do not have to worry about remembering every word a patient says during a visit. Instead, they can focus more on caring for and listening to patients while AI handles the transcription. Specifically, healthcare AI tools like AvodahMed’s Nsight are tackling the problem of administrative workload and burnout to enhance workflow efficiency.
AI in the global market is forecasted to reach $48.77 billion by 2027. This represents an estimated CAGR growth rate of 49% from 2022 to 2027. This surge reflects the transformative impact AI is already having on healthcare outcomes, from refining treatment techniques and analyzing complex data, to assisting providers with diagnoses. The benefits of AI adoption will not be limited to doctors and other healthcare providers. It promises to enhance quality of life more broadly, improving preventive care and yielding better patient outcomes.
Why apply AI in healthcare
AI can be applied in numerous ways in healthcare including simplifying workflow, automating patient prescription refills, and enhancing radiology treatments — the list is endless. Leveraging AI in healthcare will help many healthcare professionals improve their practice, patient outcomes, and save 5% to 10% every year. In addition, AI will be beneficial for health organizations that are financially constrained while improving patient experiences.
Health systems can take advantage of AI in the following ways:
Real-time patient data
Moving away from the traditional method of waiting for patient data, one benefit of AI is that health organizations can use this advanced technology for faster diagnosis and accurate information analysis. This, in turn, is increasing decision-making speed and aiding the optimization of clinical data. With AI in use, there is a better relationship between physicians and patients, as patients will have shorter wait times for medical outcomes and can receive their results instantly. In addition, the doctor can look directly at the patient versus the computer during the visit, enhancing communication and relationships. This improved data analysis will enable providers to recommend preventive measures to patients, leading to increased cost savings. Machine learning systems can identify patterns and trends that can provide the best treatment plan for patients.
Reducing administrative stress & enhancing workflow
The administrative burden in healthcare affects employee satisfaction and reduces their motivation to do the work they love. The constant repetition of tasks drains their time and energy. Even with the use of Electronic Health Records (EHRs), physicians still experience burnout and spend a lot of time on administrative tasks. On average, doctors spend 16.6% of their weekly working hours on administrative tasks. Using AI can reduce this time significantly. For instance, instead of focusing on note-taking, AI, with the use of natural language processing (NLP), can transcribe patient encounters in real time.
In addition, AI can automate tasks and simplify clinical documentation. From refilling prescriptions to scheduling appointments and billing, clinicians can have more time by letting AI handle routine tasks.
The automation of operations and processes helps medical providers diagnose conditions they may have otherwise missed and recommend preventive care or treatment plans early on. This will accelerate revenue generation for many medical organizations. Consider the case where a primary care doctor who used Nsight during 52 appointments identified 11 opportunities for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and added $13,000 in revenue – in just two weeks. Nsight listened for a core set of patient complaints to recommend certain patients for treatment.
The future of AI in healthcare
The future of AI in healthcare is broad, with endless possibilities. From diagnoses, to administrative tasks, to enhancing patient experiences, there are numerous ways medical professionals can benefit from AI. Investors are taking advantage of this opportunity by directing more resources into AI, seeing that it helps improve patient outcomes and enhances medical practice for physicians.
Many medical providers are wondering how AI will change healthcare in the future. For now, we can boldly state that AI has revolutionized healthcare, from administrative workflow to patient diagnoses and ancillary service notifications. And this is only the beginning.
Researchers are constantly developing new ways to improve the medical health system. As a physician, it is advisable to keep up with the trends and adopt AI into your practice. From a process and financial standpoint, AI is changing the landscape, exposing areas that need more attention and alleviating burnout and stress.
Beyond this, AI will improve how medical professionals interact with EHRs and enhance communication between patients and doctors. The ultimate goal of AI is to enhance patient outcomes and make the medical system better for patients and providers.
AvodahMed Nsight is shaping the future of healthcare. It is the only conversational AI tool you need to transcribe patient encounters in real time. Let’s talk about your medical practice challenges and how Nsight can be beneficial.