Viewpoint: AI will transform 3 aspects of hospitals

There are three areas in which artificial intelligence will soon transform hospital management, Roger Smith, PhD, writes in a recent STAT analysis.

Dr. Smith serves as chief technology officer at Celebration-based Florida Hospital Nicholson Center and as a graduate faculty member at Orlando-based University of Central Florida.

Here are the three hospital functions Dr. Smith highlighted.

1. Surgeon communication. Surgeons undergo rigorous medical training before entering the operating room. However, according to Dr. Smith, many aren't trained on how to lead a surgical team. Through AI-powered video games, hospitals can provide surgeons with a virtual environment to practice their communication and leadership skills in different operating room scenarios.

2. Surgical robots. With existing robotic tools, such as the da Vinci Surgical System, physicians can perform more precise surgical procedures. However, by imbuing these tools with AI, Dr. Smith says they can become "intelligent assistants." In theory, these surgical robots would be more aware of the procedure being performed and could use that knowledge to provide clinical decision support during a procedure.

3. Large-scale data. Although hospitals currently collect data from patients, this information is often kept in disparate data silos. Using AI and data mining techniques, hospitals can bring this information together into a centralized system. Dr. Smith says hospitals can use this integrated data to develop an overhead view of the "aggregate health of their populations," which can inform patient engagement decisions.

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