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Today: How AI can Help Reduce the Cost of Healthcare

They list a bunch of ways AI can reduce the cost of healthcare, today we explore each.


Today in health, it we're going to take a look at how AI can help reduce the cost of healthcare. There's an article out there list a bunch of things. We're going to look at them and see what we think. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system. And create, or this week health.

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Here's the story again? This is on our new site. Just pulled it up. How can AI help reduce the cost of healthcare? It's on a site called unite dot. AI. The other thing I love about this new site is I'm getting stories from a lot of different locations, as people are sending them in. So fantastic. Let's see.

Here's what I have to say. A few industries could benefit from financial help as much as healthcare sector. The high cost of diagnostic equipment, medical supplies, and drug therapies. Plus the electricity and water required to run medical centers. Adds up quickly, those bills are often passed down to patients, leaving them with massive medical debt.

AI might be able to change that if we can use it well. How much money could AI save? According to the 2023 report from the national bureau of economic research. Greater adoption of AI. At least the type currently on the market could lead to five to 10% savings in the us healthcare spending. This equates to anywhere from 200 billion to 360 billion. Dollars annually.

That's like real money. Even better. This figure does not factor in future advancements in AI. Which could lead to even more savings. Okay, where are we going to save money? And this is the heart of the conversation. Let's see streamlining medical visits. The word patient has never been used, has ever been more apt in 2022. The average, wait time for new patients to see a doctor for a non-urgent appointment was 26 days. An 8% increase compared to 2017. Desperate people are increasingly turning to urgent care centers for help with almost 71% of these facilities.

Now offering digital. Radio Graffie to try to meet patients. Radiography. Not familiar with the term. Sorry. To try to meet patients' needs. If AI helped appointments go faster, doctors could see more patients and generate more revenue. AI could create automated summaries of patients, medical histories, and interactions with the clinic. Including their symptoms diagnoses. Treatments and appointment dates. Doctors and nurses could use it to pull relevant info from the patient charts, so forth and so on.

So they're essentially saying streamlining the medical visit through summaries. I think there's other ways that can streamline the medical visits, but I think that is a real potential. I'm going to give that one an a plus we absolutely could use it to streamline the medical visits. Lowering administrative costs in 2019, the healthcare industry costs the us 3.8 trillion, as we all know. With 25% going towards administrative functions like bookkeeping scheduling, answering phone calls. And sending emails.

That's a nice way of saying it. The other administrative costs, which is a majority of it is labor, quite frankly. AI can easily take over or at least streamline those tasks. For example, Chad GBT can draft emails for a variety of different recipients and specific scenarios. In a matter of seconds, it can comb through large bodies of texts and summarize the main points for the reader. AI could help pharmacists see how quickly the patient goes through their current prescription or track when they are due a refill their. It. That paragraphs messed up. Anyway, the first part of it, absolutely for administrative costs.

Second part of it, low less. So they went into the patient. Importantly, AI can power virtual assistant chatbots. To help patients manage their health. Info or scheduled appointments reducing the time spent administrative task, by the way, I think that whole scheduling thing and triage and navigation. Is ripe with opportunity. I think lowering administrative costs.

Absolutely. I think AI has the potential also to ratchet up the amount of information flowing around. And it's almost going to require AI to summarize the information. I know that we, as an organization are using. AI for our internal calls and I love the summaries we are getting from this thing and essentially tells us what was talked about, who has, what task items from it. It is. It's exceptional and there's been meetings that I haven't been able to go to, that I get the summaries and it'll say, bill is assigned this.

And that's extremely helpful. So things not falling through the crack helping me be more efficient and that kind of stuff. Aiding diagnosis and treatment. This is the million dollar question. Let's see what it has to say. Researchers have recognized the potential for AI to help diagnose patients since the 1970s.

The conversation about using AI for this purpose is only growing louder. I agree with that. I think. It almost has to be used here. Let's see what they say. Scientists believe algorithms could analyze CT scans. Absolutely. Ultrasound imaging. Absolutely. Hands-down imaging is a distinct. Dataset, right?

It's the picture? It's the image. It doesn't change. And so that data set is very constant. It's actually better than most of the data sets we have, because it's an image we can look at it x-rays are simple images and then it gets more complex as we move forward. But yes, absolutely. We could use it there.

AI can detect patterns, anomalies that at a yes. Yes. Doctors can use AI as it's determined the best treatment options for specific conditions. It can help physicians to notice drug interactions and follow recommendation. Recommended guidelines. For complex cases. Yeah.

I think all those things are true. We have systems and this is where I think the other thing is. We have a lot of these. Individually siloed systems throughout our health system. AI, especially these large language models might be an opportunity for application rationalization. And that's one of the areas where I'm looking at very closely here.

And if I were a CIO for health system, I'd be looking at very closely there. If it's, if it can detect drug interactions, if it can. Do some of these things, and I know people are going to say, oh, this is very specific. And these databases are curated and so forth and so on. Absolutely.

I agree with that thousand percent, but I also believe that these AI models are going to exceed the capabilities of human. Curated content pretty quickly. In this area. Improving, writing, and record keeping medical professionals can use AI to dictate their notes. About each visit. Yes. Yes.

And they're good. It's going to be better record keeping and writing. So yes, it can work there. So symptom, checkers. Yep. It can do chatbots and that kind of stuff. I'm not sure what that's going to save us though. What is that going to save us second? Save us a visit. Symptom checker indicates something more serious.

Yeah. I guess it will direct people more precisely to the care they need, so it can drive costs out from that perspective and be more efficient. Next it goes on monitoring global health. Let's see. AI has potential to detect disease outbreaks. Before epic. Epidemiologists. Do I remember talking to John Brownstein during the pandemic. And he was talking about how Google searches were more of an indicator of the spread of the of COVID 19 than anything else, because you would see the pickup of certain searches in certain areas and it would indicate. That there was an uptick in cases in those places.

And yet, we can, the thing about AI is it can call a lot of different types of information. A lot of times, as humans, we get stuck on certain datasets. And we don't see a larger picture. We actually have to have we have to be product to see a larger picture. And I think because of the nature of computing and because it can process so much information, it's going to have a broader lens on things. And we're going to be able to start to see correlations between other things so global health.

Sure, absolutely. I don't, I'm not sure that's going to help my health system, but it'll help our a $4 trillion. Spent as a country. And let's see. That's it. Let's see. Artificial intelligence has the potential to change the healthcare industry dramatically. By reducing patient, wait times, automating administrative tasks, tracking global health and helping doctors with diagnosis and treatment.

AI could profoundly improve patient outcomes. At the same time, it will lower the cost of healthcare. Overall, making treatments more accessible for countless people. AI truly has the power to save lives. And I have no indication of if this article was written by AI or not. Zach aimos is the actual author who's published 10 hours ago, November 14th, but at the end of the day, Who knows if this stuff is written by a large language model. It is the strange world that we live in today. So anyway, that's all for today.

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