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Hospitals turn to artificial intelligence to help patients while addressing worker shortage

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Posted at 2:14 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-25 16:14:28-04

More industries are embracing artificial intelligence or tech meant to solve problems that humans traditionally have handled.

Now the health care field is looking into it to ease the worker shortage and shorten hospital stays.

A Wall Street Journal analysis estimates by 3 to 5 days.

A startup called Viz.ai is developing technology that can read brain scans and suggest treatment options.

New technology could also mean additional fees for patients associated with it.

We went to a health benefits expert to see if AI in hospitals could really save us money in the long run.

“We do have a history in our country of increasing the cost of health care when we make it more efficient, with technology, unfortunately, and that's pretty unique to this industry and most other industries,” said Paul Seegert at PCS Advisors.

“When you look at the price of a piece of technology, it goes down over time. That hasn't been true in healthcare. Although I think we may see that start to happen in healthcare as well, when you get automation and technology involved and you're able to get better health outcomes, you will reduce cost,” Seegert said.

He says AI helping providers make treatment more effective…could mean fewer people making return visits to the hospital.

Health care workers having additional help with the several items they’re tasked with every day could also help prevent burnout.

Some hospitals have started using AI technology for things like refilling prescriptions and setting appointments.

“Not replacing the doctor that's making the diagnosis and deciding upon the treatment, but let's automate some of the other things down the line and make their life easier,” said Seegert.

“Maybe we can bring some of the workforce back. We've lost 424,000 healthcare workers throughout the COVID experience and that trend seems to be continuing,” he added.

Seegert says right now mostly bigger hospitals have been testing this out, but he expects it to expand.