The world's most powerful technology companies have a vision for the future of healthcare. You'll still go to your doctor's office, sit in a waiting room, and explain your problem to someone in a white coat. But instead of relying solely on their own experience and knowledge, your doctor will consult an algorithm that's been trained on the symptoms, diagnoses, and outcomes of millions of other patients. Instead of a radiologist reading your x-ray, a computer will be able to detect minute differences and instantly identify a tumor or lesion. AI systems like these, currently under development by companies including Google and IBM, can't read textbooks and journals, attend lectures, and do rounds--they need millions of real life examples to understand all the different variations between one patient and another.
New data predicts the market for AI-driven healthcare technologies will exceed $6 billion in just three years. The surge is being driven largely by growing demand and acceptance among consumers for electronic, data-driven and virtual-based care, and the desire for more convenient, accessible, and affordable care. While it's entertaining to speculate on the future of these applications to healthcare, there are several use cases underway today which promise to change the way we think about and deliver care at the individual and population levels. These three areas highlight where AI is already making an impact in the delivery, treatment, and reimbursement of care. Tracking disease prevalence, treatment methods, and patient response through widespread systematic data collection, analysis, and dissemination has the potential to help us fine tune treatment protocols based on clear evidence of what's working and what's not across various disease states and populations.
Increased use of electronic medical records can improve treatments and diagnoses for patients, but they're also vulnerable to large data breaches. Are we sharing too much of our personal health data? It's a question worth asking after massive breaches of our personal health data in recent years and reports that, even in low-tech settings like a hospital waiting room, privacy protocols are faulty. According to the health trade publicationHIPAA Journal,more hospitals and doctors' practices reported breaches in 2016 than in any other year since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Civil Rights, which collects data on leaks, started publishing breach summaries in 2009. Among the latest leaks: Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York City left patients' names, home addresses, medical and mental health diagnoses, addiction histories, HIV statuses and even sexual assault and domestic violence reports exposed online.
Apple wants to improve how medical records look and are shared. To do so, the iPhone maker has acquired Gliimpse, a personal health data startup, Fast Company reported Monday. Based in Silicon Valley, Gliimpse offers a platform for patients and medical professionals to manage health records. These virtual profiles can include documents, photos and journal entries, and can be saved as one transferable file. The company seeks to unify how medical data is received and visualized.
Patient portals provide patients with a convenient way to access their personal health information which results in patients feeling more involved in their care and having more informed discussions with their health care provider. In one study, 94 per cent of portal users said they valued viewing their health information online Virtual visits provide patients with the convenience of connecting with their health care provider through secure, two-way digital communications without the need to travel to the doctor's office. A BC study found 79 per cent of patients who had a virtual visit said the quality of care was the same as an in-person visit. Telehomecare allows patients and clinicians to collaborate in monitoring health conditions, which can reduce the need for emergency visits and hospitalization. Electronic health records allow doctors to see patients' complete health information, saving time, reducing duplicate tests, and leading to better patient care decisions.