It can’t get spicier than AI (artificial intelligence) when it comes to hot topics. According to a Bain study, 75% of C‑suite executives believe AI will reshape the healthcare industry, but less than 6% have a plan to harness it. Arcadia CEO Michael Meucci discussed how AI impacts patient care today and where we’re going in the next decade with Nick Stepro, Chief Product and Technology Office at Arcadia, and Dr. Kate Behan, Chief Medical Officer at Arcadia.
The full discussion is available on Spicy Takes, Episode 1. Below we outline generative AI’s current status in the industry, where it has the power to reshape healthcare in the short term, and how it works with human expertise to deliver better care.
Targeting the information economy
We now know that AI models can perform tasks with a level of sophistication, accuracy, and empathy beyond what the world previously knew. Many fear that automation and AI will replace low-skill labor. In reality, the models are targeting the information economy and will continue to improve rapidly in their capabilities.
Right now, the biggest unknown issues around AI center on regulation and the legal complexities associated with AI models that are built on vast amounts of healthcare data.
Healthcare providers also worry about risks related to errors the models could make. An error in suggesting an incorrect medication, for example, has the chance to negatively impact patient outcomes. To hedge these risks, many are adopting data platforms to build trustworthy data assets that accelerate the quality of insights these models deliver.
The transformative power of AI right now
There are several ways AI can serve healthcare and improve patient care right now.
Allowing AI to manage the repetitive parts of healthcare delivery — data clean up, coding, scheduling, and more — that don’t directly impact patient care can reduce or eliminate the time and effort healthcare workers spend on mundane tasks. It would allow the industry to redeploy resources to better uses, such as patient care.
Prior authorization is another area where AI automation could have an immediate impact on both providers’ and patients’ satisfaction with their experiences. Automation can reduce paper forms and speed up the time it takes to complete the authorization. With less hassle in the process, patients can get the care they need more efficiently.
Finally, setting up AI to read and summarize patients’ insurance explanation of benefits will help them understand their benefits. These complex and lengthy documents are confusing to even the savviest of patients. Having AI pull out the relevant information can help inform patients about their coverage and maximize their policy benefits when seeking care.
AI + human expertise
There’s a lot of fear about AI taking over the world and making mistakes. However, we’ve used it in our daily lives in many ways outside of healthcare for a long time. Some ways, like Amazon or Netflix suggesting products for us are more mundane while others, such as flying planes with AI, are more serious.
Combining AI with human expertise can generate the best outcomes and provide benefits to providers and patients. The healthcare industry can build AI tools to support providers’ work. One example is providing a list of medicine suggestions that allows the provider to streamline their decision-making process when selecting the right medication. Saving time and getting the right result is a net win.
Enhancing patient care through AI starts with good data
As a society, we’ve only scratched the surface of what generative AI can and will deliver. Ensuring that it operates in an optimal manner for healthcare means ensuring the data it’s using is accurate and complete. Arcadia supports customers holistically, taking in data and using generative AI tools to enhance patient care.