Reshaping the healthcare industry with Generative AI

By Manish Shah, Chief Transformation Officer, ServiceNow.

  • 1 month ago Posted in

It's challenging to envision a domain with greater promise for AI applications than healthcare. AI, particularly through neural networks, is driving progress in healthcare across various fronts, from diagnosing diseases to developing novel drugs and treatment approaches.

Recent years have showcased the synergy of computer science and machine learning, leading to the creation of neural networks that emulate the human brain. These networks exhibit rapid data classification and clustering, reducing analysis time from hours to mere minutes compared to human-performed tasks.

Enter Generative AI (Gen AI), a game-changer that allows healthcare companies to harness these advanced capabilities at scale. Gen AI promises a more seamless, integrated experience for both patients and healthcare providers, ushering in a significant enhancement in care delivery.

An inconsistent patient journey

Navigating patients through the healthcare system can be riddled with variations and inconsistent experiences. A patient journey—doctor visits, medication, diagnostic results, specialty physician, hospital visits—generates a large digital footprint, often in siloed systems that are not easy to decipher quickly to make informed care decisions. 

Healthcare has got good at providing detection and diagnostics. During hospital encounters patients are hooked up to individual functioning devices that generate digital signals but often do not talk to each other or to their Electronic Health Record systems.   

When a specific threshold is crossed, each device sets off a signal or alert at the nurse’s station. The nurse must walk into the patient’s room to figure out why the alert went off.  Around 99% of these alerts are false positives that require significant human intervention, such as the leads coming off or the patient moving in bed.

Enhancing patient care through AI

The excitement around Gen AI is its ability to deliver more precise, targeted intelligence using large language models that take in large volumes of data and then simulate all the possibilities based on algorithms and history. 

With Gen AI, we can go well beyond sharing individual data points. We can assimilate and integrate disparate signals into an intelligent layer that merges the data into a holistic picture across devices and inputs. AI can take individual patient neural sensory networks and bring all the data into one intelligent layer, making it easier for caregivers to respond to the alerts and signals that matter the most. Gen AI helps identify the right resource to oversee patient care and take action at the right time. 

Upholding ethical governance in data models

In the last decade, we’ve seen other game-changing technologies based on AI: digital cameras that use laser ambient light movement to inspect and monitor patients in their rooms. No human being can process all the signals being read by cameras better than an AI. 

But the real promise of AI technology lies in providing the intelligence to deliver a safer, higher quality of patient care. Technology is advancing in real time, delivering visual information that is like what a human sees when they walk into a patient's room. Technology can create a more productive, effective workforce that knows precisely which situations require human intervention and can communicate what is needed in a timely manner. 

Gen AI is modeling the human brain but processing significantly greater volumes of data. However, while the human brain naturally understands some fundamental basic concepts like morals and empathy, AI does not. 

As an organisation, it is important to think about building the basic core elements of ethics, governance, and morals guard rails into AI models. Modeling best practices must align with basic principles for your organisation, such as delivering the best patient care. In the future, a regulatory body may dictate what those principles are, but as healthcare professionals we need to make sure they are part of AI policies from day one.

The future of patient care

The critical moment has arrived to implement Gen AI for an enhanced, seamlessly integrated experience for both patients and providers. It has the potential to shape more intelligent neural networks, facilitating proactive diagnosis and treatment.

However, along with tremendous opportunities, there comes significant responsibility. It involves embedding your organisation's ethical and moral principles into the AI models as guardrails. If companies take the necessary steps to uphold these principles, then the resulting advancements in patient care will be worth it, revolutionising how healthcare is delivered in the future. 

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