President and Chief Executive Officer
Cloud DX Incorporated
Recently, a study by Johns Hopkins made headlines by claiming that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the US. While that startling statistic was later challenged as being overly broad, it’s clear that over 100,000 people die in the US every year from preventable medical errors.
The US Government reports that every single day, around 10,000 Americans turn 65 and qualify for Medicare. If current Medicare spending trends continue unchanged, according to the US Social Security Advisory Board, healthcare spending will consume the majority of the federal budget by 2030, leaving little room for any other functions of Government.
The so-called “Silver Tsunami” of retiring baby-boomers not only puts enormous economic stress on our current healthcare system, it also raises the demand for support services. A looming shortage of doctors as well as personal home healthcare workers has generated anxiety in the industry. The only obvious solution is to deploy technology to help care for older adults, whose chronic conditions consume over 33% of all healthcare dollars.
Now imagine a world where medical errors were a thing of the past, and every person has the option of growing old at home in safety and dignity... all due to the dawn of medical Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Simply put, medical AI enables computers to help interpret healthcare data by recognizing patterns, providing insights to physicians to make better treatment decisions for patients. In the past healthcare progress relied on the discovery of new medications, vaccines and surgical procedures. Since the turn of the 21st century, the pace of these advances has slowed, and the growth of digital healthcare has taken off.
Advances in electronic medical records, remote patient monitoring platforms, and big data analytics have become a driving force in improving existing healthcare workflows and providing better patient outcomes.
In the future, medical AI will automatically track and dramatically reduce preventable medical errors and increase productivity. AI platforms will deliver so-called “deep data”, in real-time, to fully integrated patient management systems. Automating the selection of treatment options and reviewing possible calculated outcomes will give professionals unprecedented new tools to deliver better health. Initially, AI will aid medical professionals to make more informed decisions but will not replace providers themselves; however within the next few years AI will be able to make simple diagnoses, prescribe medication and vector patients to the optimum treatment resources with no human supervision. This autonomy is going to be required if medical AI is going to actually “bend the cost curve” and free up human resources for more complicated cases.
Adopting predictive analytics via medical AI will allow physicians to sort through large amounts of data using statistical methods to deliver predicted outcomes for patients in a matter of minutes. Incorporating AI’s predictive analytics into the healthcare field has the power to revolutionize the way providers and patients manage diseases and outcomes. This accurate and precise process can narrow down the moment of when a patient becomes ill, a critical step in providing preventative measures and treatments.
Implementing AI into healthcare systems will grant patients access to remotely monitor non-life-threatening conditions outside of a clinician’s work space. A patient could potentially describe their symptoms via an app and be presented with information to autonomously care for themselves. This not only reduces costly and time-consuming trips to medical clinics but also allows for data sharing from patient to clinicians, should a threatening complication occur.
Leading an organization into the ever-changing transformation of healthcare requires an appreciation of global innovation and implementation opportunities. Over the next decade, society will inevitably usher in a new era of healthcare; one where clinicians and their AI partners provide a lifetime of wellness management to prevent illness rather than simply treating symptoms. Early detection of negative health conditions in near real-time will be the leading factor that will reduce the cost of care over a lifetime, as well as improve patient outcomes in the case of illness or injury.
Organizations who are early to adapt to this growing AI trend will enjoy a competitive edge over those who are less equipped to do so. Full adoption of medical AI will ultimately ensure that everyone receives the support and resources they require. As a society we must embrace our responsibility to protect the future of healthcare. The sooner this notion sinks in, the sooner we will all begin enjoying the journey to improved health and wellness.
Robert Kaul is the President & CEO of Cloud DX Inc, a digital healthcare startup based in Brooklyn, New York. Their Cloud DX Connected Health Platform is revolutionizing personal health monitoring by providing outstanding accuracy and user experience at an affordable cost. Cloud DX was won multiple awards including 2015 Startup of the Year for Innovation. Team Cloud DX is a Top-7 finalist in the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a 4-year global innovation competition to create a futuristic “Tricorder” that autonomously diagnoses 14 separate health conditions. The winner of the $6 million top prize will be announced in January 2017.