Leaders expect that their organizations will invest an average of $39.7 million in artificial intelligence-related projects over the next five years.
Healthcare industry leaders are ramping up their artificial intelligence implementation efforts, with just over 60 percent saying that they have adopted AI strategies in their organizations, according to a survey conducted by Optum.
This is a nearly 88 percent increase from 2018, when just 33 percent of executives said they had implemented an AI strategy.
The survey polled 500 US health industry leaders from hospitals, health plans, life sciences, and technology to understand their attitudes and adoption of AI.
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The results revealed that executives remain confident in the potential for AI to transform healthcare delivery, with respondents reporting an increase in AI investments in the coming years. Leaders estimate that their organizations will invest an average of $39.7 million over the next five years, $7.3 million more than 2018’s estimate.
“These findings validate that AI is vital to holistically transform healthcare. It’s encouraging to see executives’ growing trust in, and adoption of, AI to make data more actionable in making the health system work better for everyone,” said Dan Schumacher, president and chief operating officer of Optum. “Working together, I am confident we can improve the quality, experiences and reduce the total cost of health care in meaningful, sustainable ways.”
The survey also found that leaders expect to see a return on investment more quickly than previously stated. Fifty percent of respondents expect to see a tangible cost savings in as little as three years as a result of AI investments, compared with 31 percent in 2018.
While most respondents said they had high levels of trust in AI for both clinical and administrative tasks overall, when asked to rank specific applications, 62 percent trusted administrative applications and just 38 percent trusted clinical applications. Respondents also said they would feel more comfortable having AI technology support for administrative rather than clinical applications.
The bulk of investments in AI will likely go toward improving administrative processes, the survey showed. Fifty percent of organizations will invest first in automating business processes, such as administrative tasks or customer service.
Thirty-six percent will invest in personalizing clinical care therapies, including drug therapies, and another 36 percent will invest in accelerating research for new therapies or clinical discoveries.
Executives expect that AI will solve a number of administrative and operational challenges. Fifty-one percent said they think AI has the potential to automate prior authorizations, while 47 percent believe the technology will be able to help individuals make better health decisions through personalized communication.
Forty-five percent expect that AI will help manage EHRs, 43 percent believe it will detect fraud, waste, or abuse in reimbursement, and 38 percent see the technology helping to select appropriate care settings.
Although most respondents are seeking to use AI to automate administrative and operational processes, leaders believe the technology will create more jobs than it eliminates. Fifty-two percent expect AI to create more work opportunities, and 87 percent agree that hiring candidates who have experience working with AI is a priority for their organization.
With the healthcare industry quickly adopting and implementing AI, leaders will have to make sure their employees have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this new environment.
Eighty-nine percent said they don’t think employees are being trained quickly enough to keep up with AI innovation, which could pose a major problem. This comes as 91 percent of respondents estimate that ten to 50 percent of new roles will require experience working with AI.
To address this issue, leaders said they would establish partnerships, create training programs for staff, work with consulting firms, and postpone projects that require a strong knowledge of AI.
For organizations to continue to adopt and implement AI and revolutionize healthcare, leaders will need to keep investing in new technology and developing innovative ways to overcome new challenges.
“In order to transform and modernize the US health system through the power of AI, it is critical that organizations invest in developing talent throughout the enterprise to solve health care’s most complex challenges,” said Steve Griffiths, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Optum Enterprise Analytics.
“At Optum, we apply what we call OptumIQ – a distinctive combination of curated data, analytics and health care expertise – to drive that intelligence transformation.”
Date: October 09, 2019
Source: Health IT Analytics