New Age Technologies are shaping our lives, beyond what one could possibly fathom. AI has been a part of our lives for some time now, thanks to a variety of practical uses. With the advent of Industrial Revolution 4.0, the past two years have witnessed increased utility of AI, IOT and data analysis significantly.
The healthcare industry too stands at the cusp of transformation, driven by cutting-edge technologies that promise to redefine patient care, operational efficiency, and accessibility. So far AI-enabled technologies, SaaS-Modells, and advanced informatics are said to be most instrumental against the pressing challenges faced by the healthcare industry.
In an exclusive interview with Arvind Vaishnav, Head of Clinical Partnerships, Philips Innovation Campus, Bangalore, we delve into how these innovations are addressing manpower shortages, enabling real-time care, and revolutionizing healthcare delivery.
Several Reports highlights manpower shortage as a key challenge in healthcare. How do AI-enabled technologies like Telehealth and Automation address this challenge?
The Philips Future Health Index 2023 Report rightfully underscores the prevailing manpower shortage in healthcare. In response, AI-powered Automation emerges as a potent solution. By harnessing advanced AI-Technologies, healthcare providers can amplify workforce productivity and efficiency. For instance, AI-enhanced medical equipment streamlines radiology processes, enabling quicker scans and higher diagnostic confidence.
Automation alleviates administrative burdens, allowing professionals to focus on patient care. Automation assists in easing the strain of repetitive administrative duties of doctors, nurses, and technologists, so they can spend more time with patients and less time in front of computers. For example, enabling automatic exports of patient monitoring data straight into Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) can enhance workflow and increase staff productivity.
Telehealth is now becoming a mainstay, as experienced staff are in short supply – especially in smaller satellite locations. Instead of having providers physically walk from room to room, they can use remote patient monitoring tools like digital health apps, instant messaging, and live video and audio to keep an eye on the patients. They can also use EMRs and data-analytics-Programmen, that will organize patient data, generate treatment-records and recommendations. Lastly, facilities can use digital tools to keep existing staff members satisfied on the job, thus reducing employee turnover rates because access to technology will help them do more with less.
The healthcare sector is witnessing a paradigm shift towards SaaS models. How can Software as a Service revolutionize Healthcare and enhance patient outcomes?
The healthcare landscape is evolving, and the “last mile” of care delivery is pivotal. SaaS offers a cloud-based architecture that fosters real-time care delivery, collaboration, and scalability. This model empowers care providers with comprehensive patient data, enabling personalized and efficient treatments. Patients benefit from remote access to care, reduced travel, and affordable telehealth, transforming the healthcare experience.
I strongly advocate for the development of an innovative architectural solution to address the pressing challenges posed by insufficient infrastructure, exorbitant costs of care, and the disproportionate distribution of healthcare professionals across various regions. In this regard, I believe that SaaS has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare landscape, playing a pivotal role in guaranteeing accessible and affordable healthcare delivery to every individual, regardless of their geographical location.
Technology has emerged as a catalyst for innovation in healthcare. How can AI, IoT, and Informatics speed up innovation while ensuring seamless, quality, and affordable services?
In the digital age, technology is redefining healthcare. AI, combined with IoT and Informatics, drives meaningful insights from data. AI enhances diagnostics, empowering professionals with actionable insights. IoT collects real-time data for personalized care, and informatics optimizes data acquisition and retrieval.
Take for example AI, it can quickly leverage data, Natural Language Processing (NLP), smart sensors, measurement systems, and context-aware personalized user interfaces to turn large amounts of data into actionable insights which support and empower people, becoming meaningful at the point of care. AI can also enhance workflows for professionals, besides adapting to the context in which it is being used, and will eventually be embedded in people’s daily environment and routines.
Having said this, the most beneficial and impactful AI-Innovations in Healthcare, like any other innovation, are need-driven rather than technology-driven. They enhance the human-care-experience without getting in the way of it. Take for example, emergency care physicians and nurses, who are already contending with alarm fatigue, with near constant alerts vying for their attention. Thus, it is here that the AI-enabled applications can potentially help physicians and nurses separate the signal from the noise.
Emerging technologies are poised to disrupt healthcare. How do AI-powered wearables, IoT, and informatics contribute to transforming the healthcare ecosystem?
AI-wearables analyze health indicators, shifting care from hospitals to homes. IoT, in conjunction with AI, optimizes data collection and treatment selection. Health informatics bridges IT and healthcare, enabling predictive analytics and comprehensive patient data. These innovations enhance care, patient experiences, and drive efficiencies.
Machine Learning (ML), on the other hand, is being leveraged because of large data sets and the ensuing complexities.
Due to the above advancements, Health Informatics is at the intersection of information technology and health care. It optimizes the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of data related to healthcare. Using technology like ML, it can undertake predictive analytics about the likelihood of diseases that can affect both individuals and broader populations.
As health institutions look for ways to connect data from various sites of care and heterogeneous systems to enhance patient experiences and deliver better care across the continuum, health informatics is only going to get bigger.
Big Data and predictive Analysis hold immense potential for healthcare. How can these technologies improve care quality, streamline processes, and empower healthcare providers?
The massive volumes of healthcare data created by EMRs, medical imaging, wearable devices, genetics, and a variety of other sources constitute a goldmine of useful information. Healthcare practitioners can identify previously unknown patterns, correlations, and trends by leveraging the power of big data analytics. These Discoveries have the potential to transform medical research, clinical decision-making, and patient care. Both work hand in hand to provide the following benefits in healthcare:
The Big Data provides targeted information to help care providers respond faster. For example, a typical MRI-Scanner yields an average of 300,000 log-Messages every day – such an amount of data is being fed into Algorithms and Models that can interpret it in a way that benefits caregivers and patients.
Secondly, the predictive analytics infrastructure ensures continuity of care. Hospitals need regular maintenance and timely replacement of medical devices, as it ensures continuity of care and even cost savings – because problems are easier to identify and quicker to address. Plus, remote services have been technically possible for some time, yet the market is yet to fully embrace the concept because it is limited in scope due to scarcity of actionable data. It is here that the availability of data is important. It helps hospitals with as much high quality information as possible to draw conclusions from.
Lastly, it empowers radiologists to make data-driven decisions. Bringing together the appropriate data and making it relevant and actionable, predictive data analytics help minimize disruption and streamline the workflow.