How AI can be leveraged in healthcare
The potential of artificial intelligence seems limitless. It can do everything from analyzing large swaths of data to writing complex code in mere seconds. Another practical use of AI is in healthcare, where it could be used for note-taking for doctors or potentially, someday ,diagnosing patients without the physical presence of a physician. Dr. Geeta Nayyar, Former Chief Medical Officer at Salesforce joins Yahoo Finance Senior Reporter Anjalee Khemlani to discuss how AI can be used within healthcare to help patients and the medical community, and discuss the pitfalls of misuse of AI in healthcare.
Dr. Nayyar explains the current status of AI in healthcare: “AI is not ready to be left alone. We still need that human oversight, whether we are talking about prior auth[orization] or we are talking about documentation. So, we are just not there yet because we are still learning. But secondly we have to remember the healthcare industry is single-handedly keeping the fax machine alive…so we have to balance what’s possible, and the art of what is possible, with the reality.”
Video Transcript (See Source Link for Video)
– AI supposed to sort of open that door, if you will, for more administrative tasks being handled by that. We’ve seen the launch of a number of AI scribes by big tech firms in the last couple of months alone. I wonder, when it comes to that part of it, of, you know, what it means to gain that time back for the providers, what does that do then? What is the underlying benefit to having those key technology impacted?
GEETA NAYYAR: Well, look, time is priceless. And right now, when we talk about documentation for physicians and the technology revolution that’s happened, it’s taken away time. And it’s taken away the joy of medicine, which is really the patient-physician relationship.
So the companies that focus on the use of AI as it relates to clinical decision support, improved and automated documentation, prior authorization alone could save us billions and billions of dollars. And there is no doctor that enjoys doing prior authorization, let me tell you. So there’s ample low-hanging fruit. But this idea that we’re going to go to Dr. Doogle– Dr. Google or a robot is going to deliver your baby, patients don’t want that, consumers don’t want that, and neither do docs.
– Speaking of prior auth, I know there’s another area where AI has been thought to be used. And that is actually in claims and denials or approvals of that within the health care insurance space. Now, UnitedHealthcare recently in the headlines for some unfair denials, causing a lot of problems for seniors. . I wonder, is that an example of what you think is sort of where we can’t get to just yet? Is it too early for something like that? Or should that not be done at all?
GEETA NAYYAR: So, again, we have to balance the buzz with reality. And AI is not ready to be left alone. We still need that human oversight, whether we’re talking about prior auth, or we’re talking about documentation. So we’re just not there yet because we’re still learning.
But secondly, we have to remember, the health care industry is single-handedly keeping the fax machine alive. So while AI–
– Not a joke. Not a joke. It’s true.
GEETA NAYYAR: True. True Walk into any doctor’s office, and you’ll meet that reality. So we have to balance what’s possible and the art of what is possible with the reality. And we need to focus on the crawl, walk, run, right? When you’re learning something, you don’t go having robots doing surgery autonomously. Not yet. I hope we get there. But we’re just not there yet.
– And a final question for you, when we talk about AI– of course, misinformation, something you recently wrote about in your book– where do you think the role of that is, where we talk about, you know, what the trust, that underlying trust you were talking about with providers? How– what is that disconnect when AI comes in the picture?
GEETA NAYYAR: So first of all, 57% of Americans trust their doctor, not their insurance company, not AI, not hospitals, right? So we have to focus on how can AI amplify that trusted relationship. And we have to remember that 59 million Americans turn to social media influencers for answers to their health care questions.
So why not use AI to amplify that trust, to amplify the presence of science, and to win that trust back? Because there are just– there are just as many misfits out there using it to sell $29.99 vitamins, right, and supplements. So we need to flip the dynamic. And science needs a comeback. And AI could be part of that story.