Every year, we witness the development and adoption of new technologies that have the potential to significantly improve the quality of care and access to treatment. Here are three technologies generating significant buzz.
- Speech-Recognition Software
Healthcare professionals are no stranger to speech-recognition software, and it has already fundamentally changed the way professionals work in their practices. The next advancement for this technology is natural language processing (NLP). NLP is a “… branch of artificial intelligence that helps computers understand, interpret and manipulate human language,” and it’s becoming widely available.
One of the most prominent examples is Amazon’s recently announced “Amazon Transcribe Medical.” It’s a real-time, automatic speech recognition for healthcare professionals. This breakthrough is at the forefront of speech-to-text software and will help streamline the documentation process that electronic health records require.
- Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics applications have existed for a while. They already help physicians enhance the accuracy of their diagnosis and recommendations. Google has jumped in the game with the surprise reveal of its “Project Nightingale” last year. Google worked under the radar with a nationwide healthcare system to develop machine learning algorithms that help physicians navigate a database of diagnostics, treatments, and healthcare professionals. This search engine uses artificial intelligence (AI) to gather information on symptoms, biometrics, and health history that are inputted by the physician in real-time. The AI then compares that data with data from over 6 million health records to make recommendations on diagnosis, treatment, and specialist referrals.
Telehealth was a little used tool in the United States, generating less than 1% of U.S. medical claims in 2018, according to a 2019 FAIR Health white paper. COVID-19 has significantly increased the adoption of telehealth. Requests for virtual visits are surging across the country and clinicians are being forced to adopt telehealth technology on the fly. The good news is that telehealth products are generally simple to use. Our clients tell us that the biggest challenge is working with patients to establish telehealth connections.
Will the pandemic be the tipping point for telehealth? It will be very interesting to see how the adoption of telehealth further develops post-COVID-19. We will be monitoring it very closely.