An AI group launched by former American Telemedicine Association CEO Jonathan Linkous says machine learning technology will play an important role in the development of telehealth and mHealth programs going forward.
A new group focused on the integration of AI in healthcare is taking a hard look at how the technology crosses paths with telehealth and telemedicine.
The Partnership for Artificial Intelligence, Automation and Robotics in Healthcare, launched earlier this year by former American Telemedicine Association executives Jonathan Linkous and Gary Capistrant, has formed a telemedicine and telehealth member group. The group will focus on “implementing telemedicine and telehealth applications and their confluence with the use of other technologies such as AI, machine learning and robotics.”
The group will be chaired by Nina Antoniotti, the Marshfield Clinic’s Director of Telehealth and the Executive Director of Telehealth and Clinical Outreach at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.
The sub-group’s formation comes as PATH prepares to host a briefing on public policy initiatives on June 10 in Washington DC. The daylong event includes a session on coverage of telehealth and precision medicine by federal and state governments.
“After years of considerations both (the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and state governments are opening up payment for remote monitoring and other forms of telehealth,” the event description reads. “Now there is increased interest in the use of machine learning, precision medicine, artificial intelligence and new robotics. At the same time the accelerating trend toward value-based payments has opened up new possibilities for payment and support for emerging technologies.”
AI technology, designed to sift through information and learn as it analyzes trends, could hold great potential for telehealth and mHealth programs that rely on personal health data to improve clinical care outside the hospital or doctor’s office. Some mHealth apps and digital health platforms are already using AI to improve care management.
“It’s amazing to see the progress that has been made over the past decade or so,” says Ed Ikeguchi, Chief Medical Officer for AICure, a New York-based AI and advanced data analytics company. “AI is critical (to the healthcare ecosystem) because it can handle and analyze data needed to improve quality of care” and physician workloads.
“AI and related innovations have already enabled industries such as banking, aviation, and entertainment to grow, provide higher- quality products, and allow consumers greater choice,” Linkous, the former ATA CEO who co-founded the group and now serves as CEO, said in a press release issued in March. “With spiraling costs, increasing need, decreasing resources, and rapidly advancing technologies, healthcare desperately needs to catch up.”
In August 2018, a survey conducted by the Utah firm Reaction Data found that telehealth, AI and mobile data are top of mind with healthcare executives as they look to the future of care delivery.
“The possibilities of uses are virtually limitless with technological progression, especially at the recent pace of technological advancement,” one chief nursing officer said in the report. “These three (AI, mobile, telehealth), particularly when used in tandem, can analyze and evaluate the status of a patient from anywhere, at any time, and transmit that data back to a provider who can then communicate recommendations to patients on their mobile devices.”
Another analysis, released earlier this year by Frost & Sullivan, identifies mHealth data as a key component to AI and analytics technology.
“As mHealth rapidly gains traction, wearables, telehealth, social media, and patient engagement are expected to find adoption among more than half of the population in developed economies by 2025,” Sowmya Rajagopalan, the company’s Advanced Medical Technologies Global Director, said in the report.
Date: May 21, 2019