AI News, BOOK REVIEW: IBM Watson Health

Why Artificial Intelligence Hype In Health Care Isn't A Bad Thing

In the year we celebrate America’s moon landing from 50 years ago, we are reminded that aiming high and thinking big have led to feats that once seemed impossible.

This is a huge shift, and it’s creating enormous pressures, incentives, disincentives and unintended consequences in an already vast, fragmented and unpredictable industry that makes up nearly 18% of the U.S. economy.

A simple example is the use of machine learning (ML) to send an electronic alert to a physician when a diabetes diagnosis or series of data points the ML engine stitches together from claims and other data to identify a diabetic case.

In a more sophisticated use of AI, an Alabama hospital experienced a 53% reduction in sepsis deaths by blending real-time electronic surveillance, algorithms and sensitive AI clinical decision support into a mobile application.

To further deepen insights, health plans and health systems are seeking ways to fold in social factors like geographical location and environmental variables to pinpoint interventions and using AI models to suggest appropriate actions.

In the past, the industry has used uniform discharge practices for entire patient populations, but there’s a new focus on targeting the riskiest patients for special interventions.

The Essence Of Human Another factor that will keep us from an AI dystopian future in health care is that the best way to influence patient behavior toward better health choices is to work with human emotion, which technology cannot do.

Expressing empathy and creating stories around the benefits of weight loss, for example, will be more effective if a patient sees healthier habits as a means to something they already cherish, like being able to play with their grandchildren.

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