Robotics, AI, and Medicine: How It’s Changing Patient/Provider Relationships

Robotics, AI, and Medicine: How It’s Changing Patient/Provider Relationships

What’s the store for future of healthcare? While we might not be able to predict everything that’s coming, we do know that technology will be a part of it. 

By 2021, it is predicted that one in three surgeries here in the US will be performed with robotic systems. That doesn’t mean robotics will take over. Instead, a surgeon will use a computer console guiding mechanical arms to do detailed work beyond the scope of anything we’ve been capable of in the past. That means more delicate procedures. That means better results for patients. 

Of course, that’s not the only place technology is moving into. 

Hospitals are using delivery robots to bring lunch to patients, deliver pills, or ferry specimens and medical equipment where they need to go. 

Service robots are moving into assisted living and nursing homes to deal with isolation issues. 

And the American population believes technology will move into healthcare a lot more than that. A Gallup poll in 2018 revealed that 71 percent of Americans believe that AI will eliminate more jobs than it creates.

Whether that prediction comes true remains to be seen. What is true, however, is that the way we perceive healthcare is rapidly changing. No matter how technology impacts it, it will change everything in the coming years. And for many, that change is scary.

There are many ways we can use AI for better care. We can see doctors virtually, choosing specialists based on experience rather than geographical location. We can diagnose earlier by comparing records from around the world. We can use expertise for critical issues, rather than using humans for the most mundane tasks. 

But what sounds good in theory is still a work in progress at best. 

A study by Accenture found that while 47 percent of patients like the concept of using AI and use it whenever possible, 29 percent will never use it because they like the one-on-one touch. A full 26 percent don’t understand it, and with an aging population, that statistic isn’t going down anytime soon. 

Then, of course, there’s the problem with trust and accuracy. While AI might not type in the wrong data, or leave a smartphone on the subway, it does present a host of new challenges we’ve never faced before. 

Like the vulnerability of data when you store it in a single, offsite location. 

Or the exposure an untrained worker can open you up to by clicking on the wrong link.

It’s an exciting time to be in healthcare. It’s also a confusing time. It’s baffling, optimistic, infuriating, and hopeful, all at the same time. There aren’t any clear answers to the changes that are coming or how best to approach them. The only way to meet every opportunity head on is to go in eyes wide open. 

That means prepare as best as you can. Trust experts to help you with every step of the journey. Develop strategies and plans that compare best and worst case scenarios, and implement procedures for both.

Do you have a team to help you do all that?

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