What's on the AI wishlist for 3 healthcare execs?

Artificial intelligence creates endless opportunities in hospitals to create synergy with front-line staff and pass the torch of the most tedious tasks to a computer that can't get tired. 

Becker's Hospital Review spoke to three executives on what AI tools could be the most useful to bring hospitals into the future. 

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity.

Danny Scott. CIO of Good Samaritan (Vincennes, Ind.):
I see AI as the mechanism to truly realize the value of data. Too often we review data from a historical perspective, which doesn't necessarily help the provision of care or the business at that point in time — looking back versus forward. I believe the future of AI and its greatest asset is to relieve the administration of healthcare. I want AI implementations to monitor and address issues as they are occurring to highlight success or potential failures. Too many organizations operate in a reactive mode, which means they are always chasing versus leading. 

Electronic health record systems can be overwhelming to many. I want to see AI provide the mechanism for medical staff to be hands-free of technology and hands-on for patient care. AI needs to bring the provision of care to them versus having to find all the pieces and parts to develop a plan. Medical staff will ultimately be the decision-makers, but AI should help them quickly make educated decisions and facilitate health care sooner than later.

Jay Brown. Senior Vice President and CIO of UC Health (Cincinnati):
I believe that we can and should apply AI technology to support our front-line team members. AI can help us to make alerts smarter to drive down the real problem of alert fatigue. AI can also help us reduce information overload for our caregivers. It can also help us see relevant information that is buried in mounds of data. If we can reduce the burden in providing healthcare, we will improve the quality of care. 

Additionally, we need AI to streamline access to health and social services for our patients.  The amount of data we have about each patient should enable AI to offer appropriate services to our patients so they can get the right care at the right time. One example of this is the AI chatbot we implemented at the height of COVID-19. We were able to use data and insights to shift many of the COVID-19-related questions to our chatbot and to provide immediate relief to our call center — serving both our consumers' needs and driving unanticipated, measurable efficiencies.

Leslie Hyman, PhD. Vice Chair for Research at Wills Eye Hospital (Philadelphia), and Allen Ho, MD. Surgeon and Retina Research Director at Wills Eye Hospital: 
We are excited about the possibilities for using artificial intelligence and machine learning in a meaningful way to generate hypotheses, advance research and further personalize patient care. We are already examining large data sets, asking important research questions from a nationwide American Academy of Ophthalmology data registry, and working with industry partners to use at-home, AI-enabled, digital disease detection strategies. 

[We are] continuing to assemble the technical infrastructure to further build the bridges to connect our gold mine of clinical, diagnostic and imaging data. Integrating all of this information into a unified database that would also factor in genetic information from a patient would provide a rich resource for machine learning and AI development. These innovations would improve understanding of disease patterns to enhance patient care provided by our skilled clinicians.

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