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What Are The Benefits AI Brings To Healthcare? 28 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 24 September 2019
  • Sam Mire

There's a line to draw when talking about AI, and it lies between the hype and the plausible reality. These industry insiders laid out the realistic benefits that AI can and will bring to the healthcare industry, rather than peddling more hollow hype. Here's what they said:

1. Sean Lane, CEO of Olive

“The digitization of healthcare created silos; they weren’t built to share or interoperate. Instead, healthcare employees have taken on the job of the data router, shifting hours spent from being in front of patients, to being in front of computers, shepherding patient data into the right fields. The benefit of an AI-powered digital workforce, is that hospital employees are able to focus on more human-like initiatives, rescuing the estimated $1 trillion spent on healthcare administrative costs and reallocate those precious resources to the delivery of care, the creation of new drugs and therapies, and the research to eradicate diseases.”


2. Laura Marble, VP, IT at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

“The biggest benefit of AI in health care is the whole concept of human augmentation. The introduction of AI to the health care industry is akin to other notable medical breakthroughs such as the microscope or X-ray technology as it allows health care practitioners to evaluate patients with greater precision and detail. This translates to faster and more accurate diagnoses, a reduction of human errors in clinical settings, and the concept of remote medicine and its accuracy can ultimately decrease health care costs and improve access and patient experience, no matter where or how they receive care.”


3. Randy Hamlin, Vice President and Segment Leader for Point-of-Care Ultrasound at Philips

The biggest benefit of AI in healthcare is that it can free up physicians for the more creative part of medicine. There are plenty of stories of physician burnout because of the time they spend on the process part of in healthcare. But AI can help in two ways. First, when AI enabled devices speed up processes, such as imaging, physicians are free to spend more time with patients in clinically challenging cases. Second, AI-enabled technology can take over certain laborious tasks that contribute to physician burnout and thus reduce human errors.”


4. Rana Gujral, CEO at Behavioral Signals

“AI's benefit to the world is speed. Doing what humans do in a fraction of time. One example is going through tons of medical images and scans to diagnose issues, very fast. AI can do what humans do with perfect precision every single time and all day without failing. It can not get tired or careless. There are many advantages to replacing tedious repetitive tasks that medical staff and carers have to do every day; they can focus on more important aspects of patient healthcare, like finding new cures and treatments or just finding time to empathize with the patient. Each tedious task that replaces or assists in a medical procedure will advance healthcare by a small step. It will open up windows to health innovation.”


5. David Maman, CEO, CTO, & Co-founder of Binah.ai

“With AI, medical personnel can more quickly get a handle on exact patient symptoms and more quickly and efficiently treat them. For example, AI as part of a clinical decision support system (CDSS) provides physicians, primary care givers, and other health professionals with clinical decision-making insights to improve the quality of the care their patients receive.

In addition, technologies such as contactless, video-based healthcare monitoring can significantly reduce the workload of nursing and medical support personnel while simultaneously reducing the volume of hospital-acquired infections by reducing the number of contaminated surfaces in a care facility.”


6. Susan Wood, CEO of VIDA

“There are a number of areas where AI can benefit healthcare. At VIDA we aim to provide benefits as an assistant to radiology – targeting time savings in the evaluation of lung disease for every chest CT and assisting in higher-quality, data-driven reports for the referring clinician, fueling better patient outcomes by adding quantitative insights to qualitative impressions.”


7. Keith Figlioli, General Partner at LRVHealth

“Ultimately, this will not be about replacing clinicians but helping augment their capabilities and hopefully in time give them more free time then they have today. Clinician burnout is a major issue in our industry and hopefully, AI/ML can help on that front in time.”


8. Emi Gal, co-founder and CEO of Ezra

“The #1 benefit that AI brings to healthcare is that, rather than usurping the jobs of scientists and technicians, it gives them the potential to spend more time on each case, while easing their over all workload and allowing them to focus on more challenging cases.”

 


9. Jane Kaye, Healthcare Finance Consultant at HealthCare Finance Advisors

“Efficiency. The technology can elevate the employee experience and open up new career opportunities while creating efficiencies that allow healthcare systems to scale up strategically. AI in healthcare finance can save time, reduce errors and increase capacity, and through all this, has the potential to lower the administrative cost of providing healthcare.”


10. Niven Narain, Co-Founder, President & CEO of BERG

“There is opportunity and untapped potential for AI to significantly improve patient outcomes and create substantial healthcare cost savings. Many of the applications such as precision medicine, population health, and healthcare economics will all be impacted which benefit both the consumer, the payer, and most importantly the patient. This will have an overarching impact on the overall economy.”


11. AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond Limits

“Clinicians can’t settle for “black box” solutions from conventional machine learning and deep learning approaches. There is too much at stake for their patients. Unlike “black box” approaches, Cognitive AI delivers clear explanations of its cognitive reasoning in transparent, evidence-based audit trails, including risks and uncertainties. Cognitive AI empowers clinicians with the information needed to make the best care decisions for their patients.”


12. Antony Edwards, COO of Eggplant

“At the moment it's all about making administration more efficient and so getting better use out of resources (e.g., beds) and giving staff more time for patient care. In the long term, the major benefit has to be better diagnosis and patient treatment leading to better patient outcomes.

To provide some context consider a nurse in the US spends up to 40% of their time merely ensuring patients take the right medication! Such a simple task, yet if we could automate that ‘we'd essentially double the number of nurses in the country!”


13. Joe Polaris, Senior Vice President of Product and Technology at R1 RCM 

Many clinicians hail AI as an enabler of safer, more connected and evidence-based preventive medicine. The business side of provider organizations will benefit from AI’s ability to increase efficiencies. However, it’s patients who ultimately benefit the most. They’re the recipients of the combination of healthier outcomes and a greater consumer-like experience that allows them to know what their care will cost up front and how to pay for it.

Through AI, patients can complete more tasks online with digital self-service models, similar to the processes they experience when purchasing airline tickets or checking in. I’d say that’s the #1 benefit: an all-around better patient experience.”


14. Sanket Shah, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Masters of Science in Health Informatics and Health Information Management

“It will improve the industry overall. Certain aspects of the industry such as the research and life sciences arm have realized a rather substantial boost when it comes to their internal business processes leveraging AI. For example, AI is revolutionizing the Radiology field and helping the field in a variety of ways including improving workflows, diagnostic and imaging assistance and an overall improvement in patient outcomes.”


15. Chris Bouton, founder & CEO of Vyasa Analytics

“Simply put, deep learning algorithms enable computers to conduct pattern recognition in large amounts of data without the need for a priori heuristics (ie a human doesn’t need to tell the computer how to find or recognize a given pattern, instead the deep learning algorithm is trained to identify a given pattern on its own). This may sound like a simple or unimpressive capability, but in fact, it is truly paradigm-shifting. There are literally thousands of applications of this type of capability in the healthcare arena to improve care, diagnostics and research. The introduction of deep learning algorithms has been compared to the advent of electricity. At first it sounds trivial, but in fact, it’s applicable and game-changing nearly everywhere.”


16. Shantanu Nigam, CEO of Jvion

Regardless of the kind of AI solution—imaging, natural language processing, operational efficiencies, clinical decision support—AI helps healthcare organizations be more proactive than reactive while reducing the cognitive load placed on clinicians. There are hidden patterns in patient physiology that can be uncovered by AI, at times much sooner than even symptoms start showing up. Such proactive application of AI leads to preventative care, which has the potential to make the system extremely efficient and reduce billions of dollars of reactionary care.

In addition, by augmenting the efficiency of clinicians, AI can help streamline the workflow, prioritize patients, and point clinicians to the most effective actions. The realization of this benefit requires appropriate expectation setting and a clear delineation between what AI can and cannot do. We need to dispel the false narratives and demystify AI so that clinicians understand how these solutions work, the value that they bring, and how they best fit within the clinical setting.”


17. Maxim Ivanov, CEO and co-founder of Aimprosoft

Automated processes, better diagnostics, improved quality of services resulting in saved time and money for the healthcare. Ability to offer services to more patients due to released resources. 

For patients, AI implementation means early-stage diagnostics that lead to better outcomes and saved lives, drop in readmission, healthcare aid accessibility for more vulnerable social groups. Not to mention enhanced wellbeing and a healthier lifestyle. The benefits are multiple and lay on the surface. So sometimes it is perplexing to see some reluctance to take steps in broader AI usage.”


18. Neal Liu, Co-Founder and CTO of uCare.ai

“Part of the education process is helping healthcare professionals understand how AI works. A common misconception is that AI will take over jobs and replace manpower in the future. However, AI is here to help workflow and bolster productivity. By helping healthcare professionals understand the benefits of AI, they will learn to embrace the technology rather than fear it. Once they have been able to accept the technology, AI will help to augment healthcare professionals from all aspects of the business – to help them to work smarter and more efficiently.”


19. Nagi Prabhu, Chief Product Officer at Solutionreach

Patients want consumer-like convenience, but also want to feel valued as unique individuals by their providers. By using data to anticipate patients’ needs, AI enhances their experience by giving them more personalized options and control.”

 


20. Jennifer Hill, Chief Operating Officer at Remedy Analytics

“AI puts human efforts on turbo-boost by enabling vast amounts of disparate information to come together in such way that enables providers to make more informed, data-centered decisions.”

 


21. Kevin Harris, CEO of CureMetrix

The answer varies depending on your perspective. AI intrigues patients because of the opportunity for earlier disease detection and faster diagnosis. Consider being able to know immediately whether your mammogram is suspicious or whether, with the enhanced sensitivity and specificity of AI technology, you can leave the doctor’s office knowing your test results are negative. 

Doctors also care about AI’s potential for earlier detection, better care and better outcomes for their patients. In addition, they are interested in efficiencies, such as reducing the amount of time physicians spend reading mammograms vs spending time with their patients as well as reducing their risk and liability.  If you take the perspective of the insurance company or the payor, one of the major values of AI is cost reduction. When you find disease sooner, it’s less expensive to treat. 

And if you look at healthcare industrywide, AI offers the enticing potential of a system that is more predictive than reactive. This would mean switching from a treatment approach to a preventive approach in health care.”


22. Dr. Anuj Shah MD, founder of Apex Heart and Vascular Care

“A primary benefit of artificial intelligence in healthcare is the reduction of human error. While physicians and surgeons are highly trained and competent professionals, they are subject to limitations experienced by all humans. Studies have shown that medical errors are a leading cause of mortality in The United States and may be responsible for more than 250,000 deaths per year. In many instances, medical errors result from miscommunication during transfers of care or patient interactions. Machine learning creates a system of information storage and interpretation that is not subject to human error.”


23. Russell Glass, CEO, Ginger

“The greatest benefit that AI will bring to healthcare is improved access to personalized care through intelligence and automation that enables medical providers to enhance the quality of care provided while simultaneously contributing to burnout relief and prevention. America is in the midst of a mental health care provider shortage. AI-driven applications, like Ginger, can play a significant part in introducing a new approach to patient-centered care.”


24. Haza Newman, co-founder and CEO of Geras Solutions

“AI and ML are great tools to improve and build on the established and standard procedures regarding the testing and supporting of patients. AI tools should provide a straightforward pathway to concise and precise findings while making specialists work and focus more arbitrary. That is because they can concentrate on validated results instead of populating or collecting them and can rely on computational analysis that would take humans tremendous amounts of time to puzzle together.

Using such tools should improve efficiency and guarantee better results while giving care units more time to focus on the patient and understanding the root causes of whatever they require assistance with. I believe using these tools will lower misclassifications and ensure the right people, who require help now, receive immediate care while maintaining a watch over those that do not need that care immediately. Eventually, this should evolve and shift our attention from being treatment focused and more so preventative focused.”


25. Allon Bloch, co-founder and CEO of K Health

Allon Bloch“Trained on the right datasets, AI is bridging the intersection between quality care, immediate access to reliable health information, and personalized insights. The traditional doctor visit hasn’t evolved much in decades, and by extension, the consumer healthcare experience has remained stagnant. Continuity of care isn’t practiced effectively across the board, and the cost of service is astronomical. We continue to accept this reality because, until recently, we simply haven't had alternatives.

Healthcare sits at the intersection of federal law, state regulations, insurance requirements, and medical standards, which have settled into a financially lucrative status quo. The system is financially and structurally incentivized to maintain its current way of operating, especially because delivering a better patient experience doesn’t necessarily benefit their bottom lines. The advent of AI in healthcare is an opportunity to change things for the better, using technology to reliably automate more of the experience and giving the gift of time back to doctors.”


26. Dekel Gelbman, CEO of FDNA

“AI can be used to assist and enhance the performance of healthcare practitioners with machine properties of accuracy, sensitivity, and availability. Simply put, there is no way for a doctor to consider all data. Doctors need to use AI to sift through data and highlight candidate answers to their pressing questions. That should define the relationship between doctor and machine and should define the value of the machine.”


27. Kabir Mahajan, Chief Strategy Officer at QUIBIM

There are numerous challenges that AI addresses in its current state and will address even more with time. I will stress on radiology and medical imaging given my experience. From automatically sorting radiologist worklists by prioritizing scans of those patients with an abnormality, to automatically eliminating time-consuming tasks of radiologists like counting the number of white matter lesions in the brain or manually segmenting organs, AI in our industry helps healthcare be more efficient in terms of output and cost.

AI can address the shortage in radiologists which is prevalent not only in the emerging economies parts of the world like China, India, and Africa but also in the developed countries like UK or even the US. In fact, we notice that many healthcare systems in various parts of the world are interested in using AI to report scans that were previously not reported. Just by ensuring close to 100% of the scans are reported, healthcare systems are reducing disease burden and costs.”


28. Jason Bellet, co-founder and CCO of Eko

“AI holds the power to provide access to doctors to rural or medically underserved areas by increasing the effectiveness of remote care through better, more accurate monitoring. Equally important, AI enables earlier detection of all kind of health conditions that when identified and treated earlier, lead to better outcomes.”


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About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.

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