Unlocking the Future of Healthcare: AI’s Potential Hinges on Effective Implementation

The NC Chamber Healthcare Conference is a gathering of healthcare industry influencers from all areas of North Carolina, and beyond. The event kicked off with a remarkable panel discussion on the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare. The insights shared by the distinguished panelists from Google, Pfizer, HCA Healthcare, among others, left me inspired and optimistic about the future of healthcare.

Panel Name: The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Health Care: Possibilities and Future

Full list of Panelists: 

  • Dr. Ranjit Kumble, Vice President, Data Science Solutions & Initiatives, Pfizer Digital
  • Michael Martine, Director, Asset Engineering, IBM Corporation
  • Corey Mercy, Head of Delivery Excellence, Health and Human Services, Google
  • Dr. Anuradha Rao-Patel, Associate Vice-President, Senior Medical Director Government Markets, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • Moderator: Jon Brown, Division Chief Information Officer, HCA Healthcare

The panel discussion was moderated by Jon Brown from HCA Healthcare, who emphasized the message that echoed among the panelists: “Humans must be in the loop.” It was palpable in the room that this sentiment resonated strongly with the audience as well. In the Age of Adoption, it is vital to remember that AI should enhance, not replace, the human touch in healthcare. The panelists delved into many reasons why with humans at the helm and AI as the compass the possibilities for AI are virtually limitless, but outlined below were the most notable:

Elevating Preventative Care with AI

Many hospitalizations are preventable, and once a patient is admitted there is a higher risk of additional complications or readmittance. Panelists underscored the value of investing in care that prevents patients from ending up at the hospital in the first place. Dr. Anuradha Rao-Patel, Associate Vice-President and Senior Medical Director of Government Markets at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) led this conversation and focused on the need to actively seek out gaps where patients are at a higher risk of admission or readmission. She shared a real-world example of how BCBSNC implemented this with AI. AI was used to identify a patient likely to be readmitted, which triggered the deployment of caseworkers to quickly intervene.

Navigating the Regulatory Landscape

Another hot-button topic – and area of unanimous agreement – was the pressing issue of regulation in the rapidly evolving AI landscape. Panelists agreed on the shared responsibility to be ethical stewards of the technology, especially as regulations struggle to keep pace. All healthcare professionals must be ready to scrutinize the data behind the AI solution, especially to ensure health equity. 

AI’s Role in Empowering Clinician

Clinicians today are being crushed between an overflow of data and an overwhelming amount of administrative tasks. This reality causes burnout and shortens patient/provider interaction. By tapping into the right tech, clinicians can leverage AI solutions to take over administrative tasks, like populating data straight from the EHR, so that clinicians can spend more time on the patient, and less time inputting data. Furthermore, the ability to use AI to crunch more numbers in less time can also allow clinicians to provide more efficient and personalized care, ultimately benefiting patients and healthcare systems alike.

What’s next?

The panelists’ perspectives highlighted the immense potential of AI to transform the healthcare industry, all while keeping the human touch at its core. As we move forward into the next decade, it is clear that AI will play a pivotal role in preventative care. It can shift preventive care from a fee-for-service model into a value-based care concept that has long been discussed, and seldom implemented. Should we maintain a commitment to ethics and inclusivity as we implement AI across healthcare, we are poised to truly transform the quality of care for patients.

Contact us to meet with Vanessa Donohue, VP of Antenna Health to discuss your 2024 communications and digital marketing strategy at North Carolina HIMSS and HLTH this fall. Additionally, download our e-book on AI’s impact on preventative care, here.

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