Patient EngagementUncategorized

How AI is Changing Patient Engagement

By January 4, 2017 No Comments

For healthcare, AI means better patient engagement. And more engagement means better preventative, curative and maintenance health care. With AI, the world promises to be a healthier place.

AI innovation continues to transform patient-provider relationships

First you’ll need to understand AI’s function as a pattern recognizer extraordinaire. That’s revolutionary in itself. Pattern recognition and data reading allow computers to predict recurring conditions and developments, such as diagnoses doctors typically make. Just like doctors, computers consider medicines, symptoms, lab results, family history and other details relevant to diagnosis and treatment when recommending courses of action.

These computerized functions- cognitive applications- available in apps for patients to enter and receive information won’t replace doctors but will help doctors evaluate priority patients. In other words, AI improves efficiency by helping patients proactively take charge of their own health, self-care and healthy lifestyles.

Interactive AI helps patients take control through automated tools. Take Lark, for example, an AI avatar that coaches patients via phone texts. Lark understands conversational text, synthesizes the information learned, patient history and clinical guidelines to counsel patients.

Another app, Cognitive Concierge, diagnoses conditions and alerts patients to environmental conditions that may trigger symptoms, say asthma and high pollen counts. And “Ann”, the virtual online assistant on insurer Aetna’s website, can chat with patients live and answer routine questions through speech-to-text technology.

All of this automation comes to you courtesy of technology. Specifically, cognitive technologies. These improve individual patient care and are especially helpful to those needing continuous care. To promote engagement with chronically ill patients, AI wearables such as biometric devices and smartphones coupled with patient history and medical knowledge allow quick, responsive recommendations and reminders to patients, like diabetics or heart patients, to eat right or take their meds.

AI in medical practice applications saves time and money

According to a comprehensive study of cognitive technologies and pilot programs using AI, Deloitte University Press concluded that ultimately cognitive technologies save time and cost, thereby improving patient satisfaction. By automating processes traditionally performed by people, they improve speed while maintaining quality.

So not only does AI directly benefit patient communication but it also indirectly benefits patients in medical practice applications. For example, companies like Enlitic or Welltok and Watson scan and analyze the totality of patient radiological images to interpret detected signals and patterns in a patient’s history. This examination of patterns helps physicians discover and target individual patient abnormalities and symptoms, helping to decide on treatment procedure choices.

Cognitive computing also helps protect patient privacy (HIPAA compliance) by extracting and tracking patient reporting data against disseminated medical information for patient care. Additionally, cognitive technology, such as natural language processing, speech recognition, machine learning, robotics, computer vision and other organizational optimization, reduces labor cost in de-identifying records (removing patient names from records used for research), tracking authorizations, detecting fraud patterns and improving customer service. Saving time and cost improves overall patient satisfaction.

Companies or hospitals can use computerized cognitive technology to sort through medical authorizations and procedures to speed up the process of pre-treatment urgent care authorization. A process that usually takes 72 hours now takes seconds. Similar applications to pharmaceutical authorizations using optical handwriting recognition technology could save companies millions annually in the near future.

two men using cognitive technology

Using computing analytics to detect patterns associated with metabolic syndrome, the precursor to heart disease and strokes, companies can study patient records and medical data to identify specific risk factors for different diseases. The potential to use this technology to reduce heart disease and diabetes by early detection is huge. Such applications can also be used to identify risks for obesity as well as other chronic diseases in the future, all to the benefit of a healthier population.

So, the good news is AI is here to stay!

Health Hero is easy, intuitive, and most importantly: human. For benefit brokers, insurance companies, and hospitals, Health Hero provides smart & personalized health engagement experiences that are highly engaging and compatible with most devices. Contact us today to schedule a demo!