I had the privilege of attending the World Medical Innovation Forum. This year’s Forum, of course, focused heavily on the advancements and opportunities of AI in healthcare, something in which we at Nuance are deeply invested.
From discussions around how ambient intelligence with real-time, AI-driven information and analytical recommendations offer an opportunity to improve clinical documentation, to the necessity that AI technology must fit into the everyday physician workflow, I walked away from the Forum with heightened optimism and an excitement borne of a deeper understanding for how we will realize the benefits of AI.
That excitement comes from seeing AI and healthcare not as an incomprehensible, complex mix of technology, science and market forces, but as something that is very much in our power to create, shape, use and direct.
AI gives us power; it amplifies our abilities to accomplish more.
The ultimate success of AI, however, will come from shifting our thinking – realizing that AI is not an abstraction happening to us, but instead something that is as personal, tangible and as much in our control as driving a car. Because the reality is that AI will be as regular and integral to our daily workflows and personal lives as a laptop, a phone or even a coffee maker are today. And, it will be driven by our needs and expectations for what we want it to do for us.
Overall, presenters at the Forum made it abundantly clear that AI already is changing medicine and healthcare—and that’s something we should be aware of and positive about. Here are three reasons why:
1. Population health management – Society wants to consume more healthcare than it wants to pay for, which has created cost pressures on the system that have the potential to constrain innovation. And yet, because AI depends on vast amounts of data, which healthcare institutions certainly have available, we can seize the opportunity to harness the power of this data and, with the right data training strategies, apply it to population health management.
2. Physicians can do more with less – Nuance has always focused on making clinicians more productive, getting more time back in the day to focus on patient care. Our AI-powered virtual assistant already features conversational capabilities that are a catalyst for change and advancement. But because AI is the greatest technology force of our time with the ability to help individuals achieve super-human results, even writing software that humans cannot write ourselves, (as NVIDIA’s Jensen Huang stated during his Fireside chat), so much more can be done. Another way to put it is that each of us can and will do so much more with AI.
3. A decade of advancement – We have only just begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible when we infuse AI-driven solutions. The next decade is an opportunity for extraordinary advancement. Dedicated research teams will not only reveal incremental innovation in this space, they have the responsibility to properly guide AI to do the right things, and great things. And when you consider the important work already happening with open, democratic AI platforms, as well as academic institutions, we all can look forward to what’s coming next, and how we can partner with these organizations to deliver on the promise of AI.
The future of AI is happening now. In healthcare, we can choose to ignore it, or we can adopt a bold ambition, focus on it and invest in it — today.