When it comes to AI in healthcare, conversational AI, generative AI, machine learning and robotics are increasingly becoming part and parcel of the healthcare ecosystem.
In healthcare, AI is Enabling everything from improvements in care outcomes and patient experience to helping healthcare practitioners deliver better care to more people. AI has the potential to help healthcare address some significant upcoming challenges including predicting illness, and pre-emptively recommending healthcare modifications for aging populations.
With people living longer, healthcare systems face growing demand for their services. But rising care delivery costs, combined with workforces that are already struggling to meet the needs of patients, means current systems will soon be unsustainable. Enabling public health providers to shift from today’s episodic care-based approaches to a more proactive long care management strategy featuring self-care, prevention, wellness and streamlined chronic care management with the implementation of AI, and we all might just have better health outcomes.
While AI in healthcare is in its infancy right now, many healthcare organisations are already utilising a number of AI applications to elevate existing clinical protocols, enhance clinical decision-making and automate operational processes in hospitals.
In June 2023, the UK government announced a £21 million fund to accelerate the rollout of AI across the NHS. These new technologies will enable the prevention of ill-health, earlier diagnosis, more effective treatments, and the faster recovery of patients.
A recent study reveals that UK health bodies have already invested £123 million in AI technologies in a bid to tackle heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders and mental health conditions. While this sounds like a lot of money, the savings created by mitigating the need for expensive operations and hospitalisation are expected to prove game changing.
According to the TaxPayers Alliance (TPA), AI and other automation technologies have the potential to deliver around £18.5 billion of annual savings in health and social care spend.
The use of AI in Healthcare offers the following benefits to be gained:
Let’s take a look at just some of the AI applications currently making big waves in healthcare.
AI tools are already being used in healthcare by NHS trusts to diagnose conditions like lung cancer and strokes faster and more accurately. For example, AI is enabling the review and translation of mammograms 30 times faster and with 99% accuracy, reducing the need for unnecessary biopsies.
The NHS reports that the use of AI is helping to halve the time it takes to assess and get stroke victims the treatment they need. A move that triples the chance of patients living independently after a stroke. AI is also supporting healthcare practitioners in boosting the efficiency of diagnosis decision-making, making it possible to identify and prioritise the most urgent cases and reduce the likelihood of people suffering a lifelong disability.
Dr Raj Jena, Oncologist
AI in Healthcare – Supporting People in Virtual Wards
The proliferation of consumer wearables, remote monitoring and other devices combined with AI are making it possible to monitor patients with long term conditions like diabetes or people recovering from a health event at home. Using AI algorithms to predict potentially life-threatening episodes and aid clinical decision-making.
AI in Healthcare – Tackling Wastage
Healthcare organisations like South Essex NHS Foundation Trust is using AI to minimise the risk of patients missing appointments. Taking into account things like working hours, traffic conditions and the weather, AI will identify the most convenient appointment time for patients. The system will also implement an intelligent back-up booking process to ensure that no clinical time is lost. The Trust predicts this new tool will make it possible to see as many as 100,000 extra patients each year. An additional five other Trusts plan to pilot the solution this year.
AI in Healthcare – Increasing Back Office Efficiencies
NHS Trusts are now exploring how to deploy AI to enable more streamlined patient services and care pathways. East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust are leveraging AI and robotic process automation to eliminate mundane and repetitive tasks like patient referrals. The Trust estimates that this intelligent automation will save £220,000 in associated costs in the first three months alone and will free up personnel to focus more time on patient care.
AI in Healthcare – Drug Research and Discovery
The latest advances in healthcare AI are being used to streamline the drug discovery and drug repurposing processes, significantly cutting both time to market for new drugs and their costs. In healthcare research, AI efforts are being concentrated in specific therapy areas such as oncology, Covid-19 and neurology and AI approaches are currently most likely to be utilised by biotech firms that are creating research and development workflows built around AI tools. Currently modelling projections indicate that 25-50% time and cost savings could be achieved.
But these aren’t the only areas that are benefiting from the application of AI.
AI in Healthcare – IT operations
The digital transformation of systems and platforms is changing the way healthcare organisations such as hospitals serve clinicians, patients and operational teams. It is also making the IT environment more complex, diverse, dynamic and hybrid in nature.
The growing dependence on digital services within healthcare organisations and the demands and expectations of today’s connected patients, and staff, means that maintaining the availability, security and reliability of services is critical to the delivery of care.
Today’s technology footprint now extends well beyond the walls of the physical hospital itself to incorporate satellite clinics, affiliated practices, supply chain partners and a growing number of mobile healthcare workers as well as telemedicine applications. All of which need access to the primary IT infrastructure that may feature hundreds and thousands of devices, applications and services.
However, overstretched IT operations teams are struggling to keep up with managing this interconnected landscape and the challenges of monitoring all the elements of their combined IT/OT estates. To counter the explosive growth in data, complexity, and user demands, IT teams will need to adopt an artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps) platform that provides service driven autonomous remediation.
The use of AI in IT, AIOps, in addressing complex IT problems, including performance, capacity, and configuration issues helps ward off costly downtime before they impact on the business. Today’s AIOps platforms empower IT teams to solve the complex IT operations challenges associated with digital transformation.
AIOps uses big data analytics and automation to simplify how IT operations teams support and manage their increasingly complex IT environments. By automating mundane tasks, and providing actionable insights that includes predicting outages, AIOps tools enable today’s digitally powered healthcare providers to increase their system performance and uptime. All of which adds up to the greater availability of customer-facing services and a reduction in monitoring tool footprint that can save millions in terms of lowering the cost of maintaining and operating these tools.
AI in Healthcare – With AIOps in play organisations can:
But as Gartner observes, and is true with regards to AI in healthcare, implementing AIOps isn’t a walk in the park, and identifying the right platform for the business’ needs is just the start. Reaping the potential offered by AIOps depends on having the right know-how and significant preparation of the infrastructure to support an AIOps implementation. If you are considering an AI First or Native AI methodology for your hospital, medical group, research center, or other, you may need help on your journey, especially if you want to succeed, and do so on an escalated time-table.
When it comes to AI many healthcare providers and research centers want to fast-track how they leverage the full benefits of AIOps and are turning to Managed AI Service specialists like Bell Integration to orchestrate the implementation of AIOps platforms that are fine-tuned exactly to their individual environments, run them, and provide ongoing optimisation. Organisations that have utilised managed IT services in the past understand both the cost savings, as well as financial rewards that can be obtained by using a managed service methodology for the handling of their AI or AIOps programs. In fact, when it comes to AI in healthcare, both the costs, if not handled properly, or the rewards, if successfully implemented, can be great, and the difference between winning and failing comes down to having the right people, the right data, and the right knowledge in terms of where, when and how. You can tap that experience immediately when you opt for AI Managed Services over in house AI development.
Let Bell help you on your journey.
Running a hassle-free IT service desk was a challenge before hybrid and remote working became the new normal. However, changing workplace behaviours and the growing use of end-user collaboration tools means that IT support requirements have significantly escalated.
Resolving user-specific issues fast – and first time – is key for limiting employee downtime and boosting productivity. But with ticket volumes increasing, organisations need to find a way to transform their IT service and help desk with cost and performance optimisation in mind.
The utilisation of AI in the healthcare industry is enabling operators to accelerate self-service, respond to FAQs and provide intelligence suggestions based on a user’s role 24×7. Today’s AI digital agents using Conversational AI are able to take care of a multitude of tasks, escalating complex or more challenging scenarios to a live human specialist who is instantly furnished with all the information they need to get up and running fast when it comes to troubleshooting an end user’s issue.
However, AI services for healthcare providers needs to be implemented with skill if they are to perform as expected – digital agents can’t function or efficiently orchestrate service resolutions if they haven’t been appropriately and securely initiated.
Our cloud-based AI service platforms makes it easy for healthcare organisations to implement AIOps and an automated digital workforce at speed and at scale.
Powered by Amelia AI, automation, and conversational AI, and complemented by our highly skilled support teams, Bell Integration’s AI Managed Services give you a fast and streamlined way to incorporate a fully ITIL-aligned IT Help Desk and AIOps framework that frees up your IT personnel to focus on more value-add tasks. With Bell Integration your AI programs will be predictable in that they will have fixed outcomes, fixed costs, and be aligned with your goals, timetables, and requirements.
With properly executed AI programs in place, healthcare organisations can monitor, manage and support Tier 1-4 incidents as well as service requests, configuration and decommissioning services, giving you everything you need to support your extended environment – cloud, physical and virtual servers, storage and backup, database management, networks, routing, firewall security, wireless and desktop management. What are you waiting for, call Bell Integration today for a free consultation to see just how far we can take you with AI!