We’ve all heard about Artificial Intelligence in so many different industries, but how about Healthcare. You might be surprised to hear that despite all the hype, misinformation and lack of information around us, Artificial Intelligence is alive and kicking in Healthcare. And what better way to tackle this than through the patient’s eyes.
So, let’s talk about John. John is a 40-year-old gentleman who has been suffering from long-standing reflux. At first, he ignored it, but at some point, he complained to his wife, telling her that it’s bothering him and that he would like to do something about it. A couple of weeks passed and still nothing happened, until one day he heard about the newly-launched app launched by his insurance provider, Sahha.
The Sahha App had an AI-powered symptom (named Anna) checker included in the app. John opened the app, reviewed the data sharing agreement, consented and started off the conversation. At first, John felt weird and awkward that he is having a conversation with a chatbot, but it sounded so natural, that he just went with the flow. Anna suggested that John might have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and offered him with a list of doctors experienced on this specific set of symptoms. John was lost for choice, but he finally chose Dr Paul who happened to be available via a video call at that particular point in time. With trepidation, he tapped on the call button and after 2 minutes was connected with Dr Paul.
John was somewhat shocked to see the doctor in the palm of his hands, and he had to slightly adjust the viewing angle so that he looks better. Dr Paul broke the ice and told John that he had some time to review the conversation that he had with Anna and that he would like to ask two or three questions. John felt relieved that he didn’t have to answer the questions all over again, and felt assured with the thorough yet appropriate questions. As the conversation went along, John noted that the doctor wasn’t typing anything, and he quizzically asked the doctor, how he manages to handle it all. Dr Paul answered that he is supported by his AI Assistant who automatically detects the conversation, transcribes it and structures the information into his Electronic Patient Record.
‘So, what’s next doc?’ John asks after that impromptu side-track. Dr Paul goes on to inform him that he would like to start him on a medication regime, follow-up with him in 8 weeks' time with a video call. John was then worried about that he hadn’t paid the doctor but then realised that it’s all included in the insurance plan. Furthermore, he thought that he will need to wait for the paper with the prescription on it. He was quite surprised when he got a notification on his phone that he could pick up his medication at his favorite nearby pharmacy which will be closing in 45 mins or else get it delivered for free, since it’s covered on his insurance plan. He opted for the latter, because he needed to get out of home. John got the medication, scanned the medication’s barcode in his medication management app, PillSafePack which provided him all with all the instructions on how to take the medication, as he had forgotten what the pharmacist told him.
John arrived home and hugged his wife, who was glowing and delighted to see him. John was slightly perplexed as he hadn’t seen her in such a great mood for quite a while. Later she happily announced that she had already received the results of her mammogram that she had done earlier on that day and that she will be followed up again in 3 years’ time. John was ecstatic and decided that it’s time to celebrate with a glass of wine. As he was about to open the cork, he got a notification on his phone that he should avoid having alcohol as it would worsen his reflux and render the medication ineffective. With a sigh, he decided to grab two big glasses of water and spruce them up with lemons and oranges.
Most of the story reflects on advances in artificial intelligence in preliminary diagnosis, medical imaging, medication management, nutrition planning and digital therapeutics. There is so much going on and we have so much to learn. See you at the HIMSS Europe & Health 2.0 Europe Conference in Helsinki where we will be seeing how Artificial Intelligence is not just a futuristic idea but a current reality, make sure you attend the “AI Beyond the Buzz” session happening on 12th and 13th June ranging from Masterclasses to practical showcases.
Co-Founder, Health 2.0 Malta