To get executives on board with new tech, put ROI before AI

When seeking to deploy a new artificial intelligence solution, IT teams can secure leaders' support by playing down the "scarier" technical aspects and focusing instead on AI's potential to augment human abilities and drive major returns on investment.

During a panel titled "AI and Automation — Key Thoughts and the Relationship to the Healthcare Industry" at the Becker's Hospital Review Health IT + Revenue Cycle conference in Chicago in October, two healthcare leaders discussed both the challenges of implementing AI-based solutions and the significant benefits offered by the technology.

The two panelists were Andrew Le, MD, CEO and co-founder and Buoy Health, and Deepti Sharma, vice president of product management at HSBlox.

Here are six key takeaways from Dr. Le and Ms. Sharma's discussion:

  • Contrary to popular usage, "artificial intelligence" does not merely describe any advanced algorithm; instead, AI describes technology that requires no human input or logic to achieve a desired result.
  • Areas of healthcare in which AI currently shows the most promise include population health, behavioral health and certain care delivery challenges such as reducing readmissions.
  • When choosing an AI solution to deploy, healthcare organizations must consider whether it will actually solve a specific problem, or if they are simply drawn in by the dazzle of the shiny new technology.
  • The first — and perhaps most important — step in implementing AI into a healthcare organization is ensuring input data is as clean as possible.
  • Challenges to deploying AI in healthcare include high costs and a lack of qualified talent. Additionally, even with those resources secured, further obstacles arise from the segmented nature of healthcare and the lack of an overarching definition of "success" for AI.
  • Executive buy-in is crucial for any tech deployment, and especially for AI, which is often seen as a scary, unknown entity. Get leadership on board by downplaying the solution's more technical aspects and playing up the potential returns on investment and AI's ability to augment, rather than replace, human decision-making.

Don't miss the Becker's 3rd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy event in Chicago, May 19-21, 2020. Click here to learn more and register.

More articles on AI:
Moving beyond the hype: How hospitals are applying AI to daily functions
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Merck innovation fund joins $75M funding in AI pathology research startup

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