Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Health

After wrapping up my time at the Health 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, California, I can’t help but reminisce a bit about how far Xsolis has come. Initially, we offered a service that enabled providers to work written off denials (simple, but valuable!). However, in just a few short years we’ve expanded into technologies that place us at the forefront of healthcare innovation; our current solution has become a show-stopper among some of the most technologically advanced healthcare organizations in this country and across the globe.

real-time 3D printing to artificial intelligence (“AI”) to blockchain, technology was the name of the game at Health 2.0.  In the midst of all this innovation, one thing became abundantly clear to me: The Healthcare Industry as we know it is rapidly changing and adapting to this digital age, and it’s high time for providers, payers and vendors to get on the train…or be left behind

One of the major themes highlighted during the conference was the impact Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence technologies will have on the future of healthcare. These are hugely exciting opportunities, yet frequently misunderstood concepts.  The essence of these technologies rely on feeding significant datasets into supercomputers that process and recognize patterns: allowing them to predict outcomes based on specific rulesets as they encounter these patterns going forward.  An immediate comparison is facial recognition technology: after you feed a computer thousands of pictures of puppies, it can be programmed to recognize variations and patterns that make a puppy…a puppy.  Now, when the computer sees a picture of a puppy, it knows it’s a puppy and not a kitten! (And gets ‘smarter’ because it recognizes a new puppy).

However, what if the computer sees a picture of a small dog that looks like a puppy, but it is in fact, a full-grown dog?  The computer may think it’s a puppy.   This disconnect between programming and true experience is one of the main shortcomings of Artificial Intelligence.

Now in terms of puppy predictions, this may not be a big deal, but what does this mean for uses of this technology in a more sophisticated and meaningful market – say…Healthcare?

As you may know, Xsolis uses Artificial Intelligence technology to assist in Medical Necessity determinations: Automatically and continually predicting the likelihood of Inpatient or Observation status, or changes in status, for every patient.   While the predictions are highly accurate, they are, at times, incorrect due to the way they approach the data they encounter, which brings me to the point of this post:

Artificial Intelligence cannot and will not replace the mind of a healthcare provider – it will, however, make them better.

Healthcare providers must leverage new technology like AI to survive and thrive in the ever-changing healthcare landscape.  Utilizing AI not only relieves some of the cognitive burden of managing multiple patients throughout the continuum of care, but it also provides unprecedented oversight into patient populations and enables a prioritization based on potential status changes that may never happen if not addressed.

If nurses and doctors can integrate these new technologies into their routines while understanding the benefits as well as current shortcomings, I’m confident that human expertise coupled with artificial intelligence can create a more efficient, effective and compliant healthcare delivery model for all.

Empowered  by new and innovative technologies, the future of health looks bright.