1. A tsunami of healthcare data
Healthcare is drowning in data. An article by CIO.com outlines How CIOs Can Prepare for Healthcare ‘Data Tsunami.’ Digitization of healthcare information, EHR systems, precision and personalized medicine, health information exchange, consumer health, Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), and other major trends affecting healthcare are accelerating this data growth rate. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are powerful tools that empower healthcare organizations to process the tsunami of healthcare data in near real time, maximize the value of this data, and delivering actionable insights near real-time insights that in turn enable healthcare to maximize the Quadruple Aim Objectives of improving patient outcomes, reducing healthcare costs, and improving the experiences of both patients and healthcare professionals. Increasingly healthcare organizations run AI / ML workloads in the cloud to reduce costs, and improve security, agility, and scalability.
2. Healthcare professional burnout
Clinician burnout is a major concern across healthcare providers with 42 percent of physicians indicating burnout in a recent research study by Medscape, and their job is the major lifestyle factor, with too many bureaucratic tasks (for example charting, paperwork) cited as the major task factor. Too much healthcare data and administrative tasks around the processing of this data exacerbates these challenges. AI / ML can automate the processing of healthcare data and associated mundane tasks, in near real time, freeing up healthcare workers, empowering them with actionable insights, and enabling them to spend more time with patients.
3. Healthcare costs are redlining
Healthcare costs are skyrocketing. In 2016, healthcare costs in the US are estimated at nearly 18 percent of the GDP! Healthcare is becoming less affordable worldwide, and a serious chasm is widening between those that can afford healthcare and those that cannot. AI can automate tasks making healthcare more efficient, reducing costs, and improving access for example through 24 x 7 healthcare chatbots. AI has also been widely and very successfully used in anti-fraud, helping to further reduce associated costs. AI powered by the cloud empowers healthcare with strategic, transformative new capabilities in an agile and scalable way, while enabling healthcare organizations to reduce costs.
4. Ransomware disrupts healthcare and breaches erode patient trust
Ransomware incidents such as WannaCry have been very disruptive to healthcare worldwide with many healthcare organizations including healthcare providers experiencing degraded IT services, and some having to direct patients elsewhere. This degrades the quality of care and in a worst case can be a direct threat to patient safety. Cybersecurity breaches, including those affecting healthcare payers with massive databases of sensitive healthcare information seriously degrade the patient experience, and erode patient trust in the healthcare system. AI promises to empower cybersecurity teams in healthcare organizations with the ability to detect malware quickly and detect vulnerable systems and risky healthcare workers enabling proactive remediation or training to mitigate the risk of future incidents.
Healthcare wants solutions, not IT projects
Download the new, free AI in Healthcare guide to find out more about how these trends are driving a new set of transformational use cases and workloads powered by AI and delivered from the Microsoft Azure cloud. Why start from scratch, though? See how you can accelerate your healthcare AI initiative with free blueprints that include not only documentation and security and compliance support, but also example code, test data, and automated deployment to rapidly establish an AI solution reference starting point that you can then customize to achieve your target AI solution faster. Need help? Microsoft is working with an army of partners to expedite AI solutions to the healthcare industry. See within this guide key partners you can reach out to now to help you further accelerate your AI initiatives.
What other trends and solutions are you seeing for AI in healthcare? We welcome any feedback or questions you may have below. AI in healthcare is a fast-moving field. New developments are emerging daily. Many of these new developments are not things you can read about yet in a textbook. I post daily about these new developments and solutions in healthcare, AI, cloud computing, security, privacy, compliance, and blockchain on social media. Reach out to connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter.