Health Care Professionals Say AI Will Have Big Impact

Last week the world of healthcare information technology gathered in Orlando, Florida, for the HIMSS 2019 annual conference. There were 42,595 people, 1,300 exhibitors, and more than 300 educational sessions.

For a few days, the Orange County Convention Center became the epicenter of healthcare technology brain power, with many on a quest for the best ideas that will help transform healthcare.

As HealthLeaders' innovations editor, I was interested in what innovation participants thought will have the greatest impact on health systems, I asked that question to nearly everyone I encountered during interviews, at exhibit booths, and while networking. The responses were diverse, but the most common answer involved some form of artificial intelligence (AI).

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • AI will have widespread impact, particularly by influencing clinical decision-making.
  • Telehealth and devices that facilitate the transition to home-based care will change the dynamics of healthcare delivery.
  • Platforms to manage data and the ability to exchange and interpret data are foundational to innovation.

Following are among the most compelling responses I heard to the question, "From your perspective, what innovation will have the greatest impact on health systems?"

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

"The [innovation] I'd like to see that could have the greatest impact on healthcare is really facilitating the use of electronic medical record by our clinical caregivers. But I'm not seeing it. So what I am seeing, and what I think is going to have a huge impact, is artificial intelligence—that's everything from the ability to interpret images, to helping clinicians in making the best decisions in their care practices." —Marc Probst, vice president and chief information officer, Intermountain Healthcare

MOBILE HEALTH AND WEARABLES

“Artificial intelligence, big data analytics, mobile health, and wearables are all poised to have a significant impact on healthcare and to grow in 2019. But I believe that mobile health and wearables will take the biggest leap forward as the continued pursuit of consumerism moves care outside of the hospital—offering patients greater convenience, more continuity of care, and lower costs.” —Chris Carmody, senior vice president, enterprise IT infrastructure, UPMC

INNOVATIONS THAT CAN BE USED TODAY

"Innovation that we can make use of right now. A lot of the innovation that we see today is very promising about solving future problems, but we have lots of things that we need to care of now. So we're always on the lookout for innovation that we can jump into and take advantage of right now … [For example,] AI is wonderful in terms of what the technology will bring. But today we have reporting challenges. We need ways to be able to see real-time information for what's going on in our large complex organizations. Solutions that help us with problems that we're trying to solve, as we speak, are very valuable to us. And we love when they're built on platforms that will give us innovative ideas well into the future. But sometimes we struggle with some of these big ideas that aren't quite ready for prime time." —Darren Dworkin, chief information officer, enterprise information services, Cedars-Sinai

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