In 2021, the need for Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare is more apparent than ever. As the volume of coronavirus cases rises worldwide, healthcare institutions, such as hospitals, are struggling to gather resources to manage patient care adequately. Additionally, there is a hesitance in patients to go to hospitals and diagnostics for periodic health checkups, elective surgeries, etc. & a de-prioritization of elective procedures that will become a burden on the healthcare system in the near and long term. Hospitals need to mitigate patient inhibitions and resolve the prioritization of elective procedures in terms of safety. New solutions, through technological innovation, can make a vast impact in hospitals.
Finding the way
To meet the demand of increasing patient volume and stop the spread of future viruses or strains similar to the coronavirus, hospitals need to integrate smart technology to treat higher volumes of patients with less contact and allow hospitalists to work remotely when possible.
It is necessary to continually monitor patients’ vital signs during their stay in a hospital; smart technology sensors can remove the need for constant in-person care. Body-worn sensors on patients and non-contact sensors in hospital rooms can instantly capture patient health care parameters and digitize patient health data at the source. Advanced algorithms can operate on this wealth of data to gather patient information and free hospitalists from physically attending to patients for tasks such as basic routines and tracking vital signs.
Technology and patient care driving smart solutions
Large-area sensors and image sensors can be incorporated into hospital infrastructure to develop them into contact-free health monitoring systems. Additionally, medical imaging can be sent straight to a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS). The PACS is basically a central imaging repository that facilitates more efficient handling of medical imaging, allowing physicians on-demand and remote access.
The creation of AI-assisted robotic nursing assistants is also an area worth exploring. These robotic nursing assistants may support nurses in taking a patient’s vitals, dispensing, distributing medication, and delivering items to patients autonomously. These robotic assistants can generate up to 20% more efficiency, offering nurses more time to focus on patient engagement.
AI algorithms can facilitate decision-making for patients and their families as they navigate the plethora of healthcare financing options offered by healthcare providers during the hospital stay. AI can help reduce complexity and create a seamless experience for patients and their families during stressful times.
Moving towards the new normal
With the cost of technology falling sharply, fast-developing use cases abound, emphasizing the importance and value of digital connectivity; hospitals should embrace new technology. Besides helping patients, these changes will benefit the hospitals by digitizing asset tracking, personnel management, and scheduling for better operational efficiency and patient experience. Today’s health care executives should ask themselves the following questions to understand what they need to prioritize in their “new normal.”
- What does your patient demand model look like (i.e. which segment of consults & procedures are driving your demand and, most importantly, your revenue)?
- What investments are needed in new technology and AI capabilities (i.e., where are automation and efficiencies possible and necessary e.g., smart technology sensors, streamlining the patient experience, automating repetitive processes, real-time patient flow optimization, etc.)
- How can virtual health capabilities be extended & strengthened? (e.g., increasing patient access to healthcare with 1:1 consultation, readily available medical imaging, etc.)
- How can you rethink your workforce, skills, collaboration models, and execution? How can we help you enable the types of collaboration required with the virtual and remote workforce?
- Which partnerships and alliances are necessary for you to execute on logistics & operational goals?
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