How AI Will Enhance Digital Healthcare in 2022
Machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies are making inroads in every industry. Healthcare has been feeling the effects somewhat, but these technologies promise to bring on a new era of digital healthcare in 2022.
So what does AI in healthcare mean for patients; how will it change how you interact with your doctor in Oakville?
1. Improve Access to Medical Care
One unexpected side-effect of the pandemic is the en masse shift to virtual consultations. The Star reports a 5,600% jump in virtual-care visits (over the phone or seeing the doctor online) since early 2020.
These relatively manual interactions are set to be transformed by AI in healthcare. AI-powered chatbots are expected to transform virtual care further, making the task of seeing the dr. online more accessible and effective.
2. Not Just Personal Care, Personalized Medicine
Prognosis and treatment decisions today depend on the doctor’s skill and experience. That means finding the proper treatment can mean trial and error, potentially impacting patient outcomes and treatment costs.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence tools can identify biomarkers for precision medicine. It is hoped that AI algorithms will mature to such a level that they’ll be able to provide “prognostic insights” and assist in selecting hyper-personalized treatments based on vast amounts of data (on the patient and from the population as a whole).
For you, it should mean fewer pills, more effective treatments, and lower prescription costs.
3. Enhancing Patients’ Experiences and Interactions with Healthcare Providers
Amazon sends you notifications when you place an order, when it’s shipped when it’s about to be delivered, and when it’s at your doorstep. But you often have to call a clinic several times just to know your test results.
AI-based customer touchpoints (such as chatbots and automated communication tools) are making their way into healthcare. These reduce the administrative effort for healthcare providers and enable more positive patient experiences.
Consider the benefits of an AI-based digital agent collecting your symptoms and fixing an appointment without making you wait hours on the phone. Then, when you chat to your doctor online, they already have the details of your ailment before speaking with you so they are ready with a prognosis and treatment plan.
4. Reducing Healthcare Costs
Just because Canada has a “free” system of primary healthcare, it doesn’t mean it’s equally accessible for everyone. It is no surprise that people with lower incomes are less likely to get tests and less likely to fill out prescriptions.
AI has the potential to reduce healthcare costs for everyone in a couple of ways:
Reducing administrative costs – It’s estimated that 30% of healthcare costs are borne out of administrative tasks. AI can automate routine, time-consuming tasks like pre-authorizing insurance, following up with patients, managing health records, and more. The savings for healthcare providers can be passed on to patients.
Reducing treatment costs – Undergoing diagnostic tests can be a double-whammy: they’re expensive, and you may have to take time off from work. Prescription medication can be expensive (especially if you don’t have insurance); and even more so if the doctor decides to try a different treatment. Hyper-personalized digital healthcare (see above) can save some or a lot of these costs.
5. Identify Health Concerns Sooner
Accessories like smartwatches and fitness trackers have been in trend recently, but advancements in AI are turning them into valuable health monitors.
AI in healthcare software can track and analyze your health, alerting you to potential health issues before you can feel the symptoms for yourself. The sooner you get treatment, the sooner you can get better.
Virtual Care Means You Get to Speak to Your Doctor Sooner in Oakville
At iCare Home Health, we make seeing a dr. online easy. It’s one of the conveniences our patients appreciate most, as it means they’re able to receive the care they need wherever they are.
Find out how easy we make it for you to see a specialist at iCare Home Health.