AI is not new to healthcare in the UK. The NHS already uses several patient AI systems that help them streamline their services. The UK government has also committed to big investments in AI technology. Needless to say, it is playing an important role in helping the healthcare industry achieve various objectives.
AI is a valuable and strategic tool—when used right.
It can assist the work of clinicians rather than replace them. It can reduce the burden on medical staff and allow them to spend more time on value-added patient care. Ultimately, patient AI can help hospitals and clinics deliver more effective patient care.
Today, AI is becoming more sophisticated at doing what humans do, maybe even more efficiently. Another advantage is that they can get routine tasks done quickly, at a lower cost. This is why this kind of technology is making its way to the healthcare sector.
Despite these advantages, however, there is still some reluctance to its adoption. After all, patients still prefer the human touch and connection when their health is on the line.
Is patient AI or any AI technology the future of healthcare? Are we getting closer to a future where telehealth will be the norm? This is what we explore in our post.
Recent improvements in AI-led healthcare processes
Understanding how broadly patient AI is being deployed and used can be challenging. AI and Machine Learning are not new trends. That said, they are advancing faster than we may have anticipated.
The UK government aims to use patent AI and data to ‘transform the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases by 2030’. In this regard, the UK government has reportedly made a £250 million investment in AI tech. This includes the setting up of the National Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. It is geared to develop new solutions for the NHS.
A few examples of how AI is being used in the NHS include:
- NHS’ telephone helpline has been transformed into an AI-powered chatbot
- AI is used to analyse scans for prostate cancer
- AI is used to analyse heart scans and to create personalised 3D models of the blood flow in the heart
- An AI tool is used to help GPs and nurses check for early signs of cancer
- AI is helping clinicians improve the diagnosis and treatment of serious eye conditions
The future of healthcare with patient AI technologies
The goal of medical AI is to augment the work of medical professionals. It is to automate and streamline time-consuming tasks. By taking over repetitive administrative tasks, medical professionals can spend more time on improving patient outcomes.
That said, the use of patient AI must be driven by strategy.
Recent research indicates that patients are reluctant to use AI even when it outperforms doctors. The reason is that they believe an algorithm cannot cater to their unique needs. It has been found that patients were less likely to use AI tech. When they used patient AI, they wanted to pay less for it.
The patient preference was to have a human perform this service. They preferred it even when it entailed a greater risk of inaccuracy.
The study found this resistance is not because of money.
It is also not because of the lack of convenience or the unwillingness to adapt.
Rather, it is due to the belief that patient AI doesn’t account for uniqueness. Specifically, the uniqueness of character or circumstance.
This means that patient AI may be seen as inflexible or rote. It is regarded as only complementing the healthcare experience.
What separates Eniax from other patient AI service providers?
At Eniax, we don’t specialise in AI bots. We are a service provider of administrative processes and services that are backed by AI and innovation. Our work is supported by a team of trained medical administrators.
Our goal is to support medical professionals in streamlining repetitive administrative tasks and improve the patient experience at your clinic.
We do this using our telehealth solution, Simple Care, and our virtual, human-led assistant, Patricia™. We provide you with the benefits of patient AI but with a human touch.