It’s long past asking “if” artificial intelligence (AI) and related technologies will revolutionize healthcare. According to a recent survey, 80 percent of executives expect AI will be integrated into the patient experience within two years. At the same time, 81 percent of respondents agree their organizations are not ready for the societal and liability issues that will result from this change.
The report, written by Kaveh Safavi, MD, JD, senior global managing director with Accenture Health, and Brian Kalis, managing director of digital health, surveyed C-suite executives from 100 healthcare companies—split evenly between payers and health systems. While AI, machine learning and other developing technologies carry the potential for great change, the authors argue the industry must harness them in a way to improve interpersonal relationships.
“Healthcare leaders have great potential to apply emerging technologies to create deeper, more meaningful relationships with people—but there are choices to be made on that journey,” the authors wrote. “How will we apply technology, govern it and ensure that it does no harm? Now more than ever, these choices must be made with great caution and care.”
Here are eight key findings:
- 92 percent of respondents believe the security of consumer data is important or very important in building trust with customers.
- 73 percent of executives are planning to develop internal ethical standards related to AI so the systems are designed responsibly.
- 72 percent of respondents said “extended” reality will impact virtually every industry within five years.
- 83 percent of those surveyed believe extended reality will provide new avenues for interaction and communication.
- 86 percent said their organizations are focusing critical systems on data, but have not invested in verification.
- Only 24 percent of respondents said their organizations have been targeted by adversarial AI multiple times.
- 91 percent of executives believe blockchain will be critical to the industry within three years.
- 88 percent of responses agreed that the volume of data exchanged with partners will increase over the next two years.
“The future demands an overhaul of existing infrastructures,” Safavi and Kalis wrote. “To overcome the challenges, healthcare organizations can pursue three strategies: embed intelligent tools everywhere, balance the cloud versus the edge and leverage custom hardware. Reimagining enterprise infrastructure unleashes new opportunities for healthcare organizations willing to see ‘the edge’ as a strategic asset in delivering intelligent environments. Embedding a business into the surrounding world begins with an IT architecture transformation—building the capabilities to power intelligent actions everywhere.”