Artificial intelligence could prove to be a self-running growth engine for the health care sector in the not-so-distant future.
A recent report from Accenture analyzed the “near-term value” of AI applications in health care to determine how the potential impact of the technology stacks up against the upfront costs of implementation. Results from the report estimated that AI applications in health care could save up to $150 billion annually for the U.S. health care economy by 2026.
The report focused on 10 AI applications with potential for near-term impact in medicine and analyzed each application to derive an associated estimated value. Researchers considered the impact of each application, likelihood of adoption, and value to the health economy in their evaluation.
Here are the top three AI applications with the greatest value potential in health care, according to the report’s findings.
1. Robot-assisted surgery: Estimated value of $40 billion
Robotic surgeries are considered “ minimally invasive ” surgeries – meaning practitioners replace large incisions with a series of quarter-inch incisions and utilize miniaturized surgical instruments. Cognitive surgical robotics combines information from actual surgical experiences to improve surgical techniques. In this type of procedure, medical teams integrate the data from pre-op medical records with real-time operating metrics to improve surgical outcomes. The technique enhances a physician’s instrument precision and can lead to a 21 percent reduction in a patient’s length of hospital stay post operation.
2. Virtual nursing assistants: Estimated value of $20 billion
Virtual nursing assistants could help achieve a reduction in unnecessary hospital visits and lessen the burden on medical professionals. According to Syneos Health Communications, 64 percent of patients reported they would be comfortable with AI virtual nurse assistants, listing the benefits of 24/7 access to answers and support, round-the-clock monitoring, and the ability to get quick answers to questions regarding medications.
3. Administrative workflow assistance: Estimated value of $18 billion
Automation of administrative workflow ensures that care providers prioritize urgent matters and can also help doctors, nurses, and assistants save time on routine tasks. Some applications of AI on the administrative end of health care include voice-to-text transcriptions that automate non-patient care activities like writing chart notes, prescribing medications, and ordering tests. An example of this comes from Nuance. The company provides AI-powered solutions that rely on machine learning to help health care providers cut documentation time and improve reporting quality. Computer-assisted physician documentation (CAPD) like this provides real-time clinical documentation guidance that helps providers ensure their patients receive an accurate clinical history and consistent recommendations. […]