The Promise of Connected Healthcare: How AI Advancements Are Creating More Meaningful Experiences
By Amanda Hansen, president, AdvancedMD
My father was diagnosed with diabetes when he was very young and lived his entire life maneuvering various healthcare systems. He had multiple eye surgeries, which is common for diabetes patients. He had pancreatic issues, open heart surgery, and two kidney transplants. It was a lot and, as his daughter, one of the most difficult parts of it all was watching my mother be his primary caregiver, managing doctor appointments, medication prescriptions, treatment plans and insurance claims.
At the time, there was little to no technology on the practice management side of healthcare. Until the internet connected us all, EHR systems were contained to inpatient and outpatient facilities, primarily used as data interchange platforms for claims processing with scanning capabilities to create images of documents. I remember my mother carrying a binder from doctor’s office to doctor’s office – the most effective way for her to keep an easily accessible list of my father’s ailments, healthcare conditions, medications, and all the other details needed by the countless doctors across my father’s continuum of care.
How AI is creating more meaningful patient experiences
Fast-forward two decades and we’re now in an entirely new reality with an ever-expanding healthcare technology ecosystem. Medical office software platforms do so much more than claims processing and digital document storage. Interoperable EHR systems let physicians share treatment plans and easily access medical histories and lab results anywhere and anytime. Patients can schedule appointments online and login to patient portals to get test results in real time. Telehealth has ushered in brand new healthcare delivery models and helped drive greater adoption of behavioral health services. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) technologies have been a game-changer for so many, helping patients better manage chronic illnesses.
And now, with the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), we’re seeing the next wave of healthtech – an advancement that is bringing our entire industry closer to the promise of fully connected or interoperable healthcare systems. AI is having a massive impact on medical practice workflow processes, empowering healthcare providers and medical office staff. AI applications are making it possible to automate tedious and redundant tasks so that medical professionals can focus their time on valuable work that greatly improves the patient experience and outcomes – and that’s just on the business side of things.
On the patient side, AI is delivering vastly improved healthcare capabilities. Last year, a peer-reviewed article published in the medical journal “Cancers (Basel)” revealed how artificial intelligence is enabling physicians to diagnose early-stage cancer, increasing the rate of effective treatments. AI-powered algorithms are making it possible to analyze routine health
records, medical images, biopsy samples and blood tests, “to improve risk stratification and early diagnoses” for at-risk patients – ultimately revolutionizing early-stage cancer diagnosis capabilities.
The biggest AI trends happening in healthcare technology right now
The most fascinating aspect of AI in health tech is that the very things we once believed impossible are happening right now. Lab results are automatically updated to patient portals in real time, giving both physicians and patients immediate access to medical tests. Automated ERA (electronic remittance advance) functions are bringing new levels of transparency to billing software. And AI automation is delivering genuinely connected healthcare, allowing healthcare systems to “talk” to one another in ways that are truly astonishing.
When looking at EHR and patient engagement platforms, the biggest AI trends I see happening right now include greater data accuracy, improved workflow process automation, and more comprehensive self-service features to serve younger, digitally-native patient populations. One of the most critical aspects of AI integration within medical office software systems is the technology’s impact on data. AI is now a key component of an effective EHR solution, substantially boosting access to patient information with high levels of data accuracy. The result: Healthcare providers are able to make more informed decisions that improve patient outcomes and drive measurable revenue gains for their practice.
Another benefit of AI is that it is helping to create more unified workflow processes for medical practices, from the way patient appointments are scheduled and surgeries are coordinated to claims processing capabilities and electronic remittance posting functions. AI is also giving patients more control over their healthcare services and treatment programs, with many opting to use self-service capabilities at various touch points throughout the patient experience. This includes improved patient portals that deliver an integrated healthcare experience, with ambulatory care providers, in-patient hospital services, and other medical providers all able to connect on a single platform.
A brighter future for healthcare providers and their patients
The overall influence of AI on healthcare technology is astonishing. As I consider how far our industry has come in such a short amount of time, it’s impossible not to draw a line from my parents’ healthcare experiences to my role as a business leader in the healthcare technology space.
All these years later, I am fully invested in moving the healthcare industry forward, ensuring patients – and their loved ones who so often are required to manage the patient experience – have the resources they need to feel confident about their healthcare choices. Even more so, I want all healthcare providers, partners, and payors to have access to innovative technology so that they can create frictionless patient experiences, providing the utmost care and advanced treatment programs for their patients.
In all my time in the field of health tech, I have not witnessed anything that equals the power of AI innovation. The promise of this technology is breathtaking. The future of healthcare is brighter because of AI and the advancements it is driving across the industry.