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AI, robotics and physician workflow


Face time with your physician.

— Photo by Polimerek

Jeff Byers, writing in Healthcare Dive, looks at how robotics and artificial intelligence might affect physician workflows. Among his observations:

“For all the hype around AI and machine learning, there are still questions about where to prioritize efforts as the potential adoption landscape is very broad. But the potential does exist — and the interest in such tools has been gaining traction. Leading provider systems see new tech tools as efforts they should throw their weight behind. For example, Mayo Clinic recently announced its teaming up with AliveCor to help prevent sudden death while Jvion — developed in collaboration with Mayo — launched a product that uses AI to help identify vulnerable patients and interventions to reduce avoidable deaths.”

“Artificial intelligence has received more than its fair share of hype and think pieces over how ‘The Robot Economy’ could affect healthcare. In 2014, Vivek Wadhwa, distinguished fellow at Carnegie Mellon University Engineering, Silicon Valley, at Rock Health’s Health Innovation Summit, stated physicians would be replaced by AI. While a provocative thought, many in the industry believe work in the clinical space will be augmented rather than replaced. ‘Eventually, computers will replace 80% of what doctors do and amplify their capabilities,’ wrote Vinod Khosla, of Khosla Ventures, back in 2012.”

“The possibility for productivity is exciting, but there are some caveats to figure out before widespread adoption will likely occur. Last month, Elon Musk stumped for more regulation in the field. ‘AI is a rare case where we need to be proactive about regulation instead of reactive,’ Musk was quoted as telling  The Verge. ‘Because I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it’s too late.”’

“While Musk’s comments may be more cerebral, there are certain considerations for AI as it advances through the healthcare industry. For one, because machines will use data points to make decisions, physicians could find themselves in situations where they may feel uncomfortable with machine-enabled decisions.”

“A question of liability also arises if and when a machine takes an action that harms a patient.”

“Whatever the actual impacts of AI and machine learning turn out being, one thing is for certain: Technology will change the workflows of administrative and clinical workers.”

To read his long and very detailed  essay, please hit this link.


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