In a recent USA Today opinion piece, Jason Moore, PhD, director of the Institute for Biomedical Informatics at the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, stated that while Artificial Intelligence (AI) in medicine shows promise, we need to “temper our expectations” and set “realistic goals.” While I agree that we need to be cautious in our development approach, there is still a lot to be excited about in the near-term. The impact on professionals who work in the managed care industry will be profound.
According to renowned physician Eric Topol, MD, founder and director of The Scripps Translational Science Institute, who spoke recently at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School’s Annual Future of Healthcare Symposium, the journey to “deep” healthcare will use these breakthrough approaches to deliver never-before-imagined solutions. Here are 3 ways that Topol and other leaders in the healthcare industry think AI will be changing the game in the coming years.
1. Healthcare will be delivered differently and impact jobs.
Topol, author of Healthcare Leadership in the AI Revolution: Opportunity in the Smart Machine Age, made it clear that AI will impact healthcare delivery, patient care, and overall health understanding. Topol also described the impact of AI on the future of work. He noted that healthcare recently overtook retail as the leading area of employment in the United States. However, he cautioned that the United States cannot continue to rely on human capital to drive innovation and change. He stated that AI and technology will play a transformational role in balancing labor demand, reducing costs, and dramatically improving care.
2. Those with neurological disorders will stand to benefit from new technology.
At the same event, Jeff Stibel, PhD, former chief executive officer (CEO) of Web.com, vice chairman of Dun & Bradstreet, and a partner of Bryant Stibel, said AI will advance neuroscience and treat patients with severe neurological disorders. Stibel showed how it is possible to connect the mind to a machine through new technology, thus enabling people without functional motor skills to use their thoughts and electrical currents in the brain to turn lights on and off, achieve mobility, and perform other tasks.
3. We can collect population data to treat disease.
Kim Kamdar, PhD, a partner at Domain Associates; Belinda Tan, MD, PhD, co-founder of Science 37; and Visar Berisha, PhD, co-founder and chief science officer of Aural Analytics also described new business models and proofs of concept using smart technology. He explained how these models will generate progressive clinical trials and enhance patient experiences and outcomes. Panel members also discussed how AI will enable healthcare providers to move from just addressing symptoms and treating disease to collecting population data and identifying markers that enhance prevention on a large scale.
Technology is already making a difference in quality of care, and transparency and costs will be radically enhanced by AI. While the development may take some time, I can’t wait to see what the future holds.