Bitten by the AI Bug?

Originally posted October 31, 2018 by |Beth Adams

In the last three weeks, I have traveled to three different healthcare related conferences in two separate states and read at least 25 different full length articles, fully absorbed 10 incredible technologically innovative videos all related to some sort of artificial intelligence (AI), all promising to transform the future of healthcare.  The promise by many healthcare analytic and software developers is to establish a link between the healthcare consumer, the healthcare organization and all the social determinants in between that impact the consumers long term health outcomes.  

What’s is really amazing is AI is getting so intuitive and individualized that it can basically demonstrate what a consumer ate for breakfast, how much they weighed at lunch, and if necessary what the urinary output will be at bedtime; all with digital integration.  Literally, everything a person eats, sleeps and does on a daily basis can be tracked and connected to health outcomes.  The real question is are we utilizing the biggest opportunities to drive the consumer to achieve healthier outcomes; to the outcomes that will ensure long term health and wellness?

Sure, we can track their doctors visits, prescriptions, weight ect., but can we steer a healthier future for the individual?  Let’s imagine for a moment and have some fun with it.  What if those coupons you receive in the mail from let’s say the local grocery really correlated to what your doctor wanted you to eat for a heart healthy diet, and you could be incentivized financially by saving a dollar or two?  Let’s go a step further, what if your medicaid card only permitted you to purchase healthy foods at checkout, and if you were on a prescribed diet, the register at check out would provide you with a discount on your final bill for sticking to a healthy diet?  The consumer could then sign a release and share their true diet history with their local doctor, and meal plans with their dietician.  

On another note, it seems quite odd that every time I am on the exercise machine in my home gym, the television just seems to know what I have been looking at on my cell phone or computer because the commercials are a duplicate of the ads on my computer.  I do recall some sort of story about a smart television spying or excuse me reporting information back to on consumers but I certainly think I turned that feature off; unless there is a back up feature that I need to adjust. 

What if healthcare could use the healthcare consumers television to deliver prescribed health information, personalized information and even a daily visit from their doctor chatting with them about the importance of adhering to the agreed upon plan.  We could really get creative and do advanced directives education, and provide other valuable teaching in the comfort of one’s own home on their personal television set, all directed in accordance with their health plan.  It would be much more personalized than watching CSI, at least I would hope so.  

Lastly, I think the real advantage of AI that will transform the future of healthcare will be when I can “beam” up my own doctor of my choosing and preference into my living room or the bed of my dying family member or self, and have a conversation about my healthcare, discuss the plan and outcomes.  I can then apply the technical equipment for monitoring and the information can be reviewed realtime and analyzed.  Only if I am in critical condition requiring advanced inpatient care will I need to leave the comfort of my home, this will be the future that will transform my patient experience.  I know that Jodi my cat of 16 years with renal disease prefers to run in the forest and lay in the sunshine in my backyard.  No veterinary hospital for Jodi, only a beam me up visit from mom at this point. 

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