The future of healthcare requires much thought and debate, particularly where A.I. comes into play. However, one thing that must be understood is that it will never replace the tried, tested, and successful work performed by hands-on physicians and all clinical staff members, as well as the medical support services that assist them in their duties.
We at ECLAT Health Solutions look to the future in order to predict and plan responses to innovations that healthcare providers require assistance with. As a reputable international medical coding company, we are dedicated to anticipating and resolving potential issues for our clients through our consultation and support services. Below, we discuss what can be expected with the introduction of artificial intelligence into our healthcare systems:
An Overview of A.I. in Healthcare
The potentials of A.I. in the healthcare industry has provided optimism for many, but wariness for many others as well. On the one hand, such innovation brings the possibilities of lowering costs, as well as improving care quality and access to healthcare. On the other hand, A.I. also presents concerns regarding patient safety, job security, harmful bias due to its convenience, and loss of privacy. Most of these opinions and concerns are valid and justified, based on the experiences of previous shifts within the healthcare industry, such as the rough transition of implementing electronic health record systems.
While there are numerous benefits to doing so, there are also several limitations that prove that it can act brilliantly as a support element, not a full-fledged replacement. The input of knowledgeable and specialized health care providers is still needed even with the growing possibilities that A.I. has to offer. There is a list of possibilities to consider, some of which we are going to outline in further detail.
Possible Outcomes to Beware of
Biases in Data Collection
The use of A.I. will have a profound effect on the functions and efficiency of doctors, clinicians, administrators, and medical support personnel. Similar advancements have already provided great benefits to the healthcare system. However, there are certain issues to A.I. systems that will create considerable drawbacks, especially within the increasingly data-driven field of healthcare. One such limitation is the issue of the numerous biases already found within the data collection systems affecting the A.I. systems that will be potentially used.
Gregory S. Nelson, VP of Analytics and Strategy at Vidant Health, compares the bias inherent in his own article on the subject of A.I. in healthcare to what is found in the algorithms that make up the A.I. itself, stating that “[A.I. b]ias is a reflection of the data algorithm authors choose to use… That is to say, we use the data that we have as opposed to the data that is right”. This is compounded by a statement by Dr. Dhruv Khullar on the possible health disparities caused by A.I.’s presence in the healthcare system, stating that the medical field has struggled with collecting data among diverse population sets. Nelson goes on to explain how this, along with the biases inherently built into an A.I’s algorithm can lead to inaccurate and biased outcomes. Such issues will effectively make the use of A.I. in the healthcare system a liability rather than an innovation.
The Effects of EMRs & EHRs
On top of the biases in medical data collection causing disruptions to the accuracy of an A.I. system’s algorithm, the current integrity of today’s electronic medical and health records systems will potentially create further problems as well. According to William Nicholson Price, in his Harvard Journal of Law & Technology article, when the federal government required hospitals and health providers to utilize electronic health record systems, a uniform system wasn’t mandated, resulting in few institutions using the same system throughout the country.
Since both EMRs and EHRs are integral to feeding data to a potential A.I.’s algorithm, the inconsistency of systems among hospitals and providers will make it difficult for A.I. to be implemented, and worse, can result in inaccuracies that could then inform clinicians to make incorrect diagnoses, which can then lead to ineffective or harmful treatments. To amend this, hospitals and healthcare providers must improve their EHR and EMR systems so that they are uniformly fit to integrate with an A.I. system without complication, so that all systems can feed the appropriate and most recent data into the A.I.’s algorithm, creating accurate and precise results for healthcare professionals to utilize.
Diagnosis by A.I.
Michael Abramoff, MD, Ph.D., is a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Iowa. He is also the founding CEO of IDX, the first company that has been authorized by the FDA to create a functional A.I. diagnostic system, which can offer a diagnosis without a doctor present. The prospect of such a system is exciting in the sense that it can help save a tremendous amount of time for administrative and clinical staff, as a large amount of time goes into diagnosing the patient’s illness before administering treatment. However, if A.I. isn’t paired together with a healthcare professional, to ensure that it doesn’t inaccurately diagnose the patient, then it may threaten the overall patient experience, resulting in an inaccurate diagnosis and an inadequate treatment routine.
Mixed Practices Among Doctors
A likely complication that could arise with the proliferation of A.I. within the healthcare system is the fact that the current and future generation of physicians and clinical specialists will practice methods in many different ways. Doctors in the near future will have trained and adjusted to the integration of smart technology and A.I. into their practices as it will have much less difficulty, while current doctors will be straining to bridge the gap. For a time, there will undoubtedly be friction within the healthcare industry due to this shift in forms of practice.
ECLAT Health Solutions: International Medical Coding Company
These are only a few of the potential results that could come from the establishment of A.I. in the healthcare system. To prepare for the coming innovations within your healthcare organization, consult with a renowned international medical coding company such as ECLAT Health Solutions. With the support of A.I., our medical coding and billing team will be able to significantly improve processes and the healthcare revenue cycle of organizations around the world. While there are some concerns involved with A.I., including its capability to harm a patient’s preferences, safety, and privacy, our team will work alongside it, ensuring those issues do not arise. We consult with our clients in all areas outside of their clinical practices, particularly where technology meets with healthcare administration. Fill out our form to discuss your organization’s potential for the future.