Artificial Intelligence: The Hope Beyond the Hype

John Commins, August 29, 2017

If you haven't given much thought about how to harness the potential of AI at your healthcare organization, you'd better start. Ignoring this budding technology could be at your own peril. 

This article first appeared in the September 2017 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Promises and prognostications about the potential of artificial intelligence are being made in Silicon Valley, the Boston area, and other high-tech hot spots.

Most hospitals and other clinical sites, however, do not exist in these cutting-edge environs. For many of the clinicians and hospital executives in this country who are busy enough grappling with a complex mix of challenges in a changing industry, AI in healthcare represents the latest technological buzzword, the hyped-up, futuristic stuff of drawing boards and tech magazines. 

The skepticism toward another technological innovation is understandable in an industry that is still struggling to identify an exact return on investment for the massive spending on the electronic health records mandate over the past decade.

While experts in this budding era of AI and machine learning in healthcare warn against falling victim to the hype, they also caution against ignoring the inevitable and profound changes that the new technology will bring to every corner of healthcare.

From diagnosing individual patients to monitoring population health, from staff scheduling to financial projections to patient throughput, AI is coming, it's going to disrupt the way you do business, and it's going to happen faster than you think. If you haven't given much thought about how your healthcare business will enter this new world, you'd better start.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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