Among patients and providers alike, bots are beginning to make their mark on healthcare. Supported by advancements in natural language processing and artificial intelligence, the technology is seeing an increasing variety of implementations. These range from text-based reception and customer service chatbots -- for instance Novo Nordisk's Sophia, which the company recently told MobiHealthNews has fielded more than 11,000 conversations and 27,000 questions since launching a few months back -- to the patient triage and symptom checking offered by Babylon Health and Buoy Health, respectively. But these aren't the only ways in which bots can play a role in care. At next month's Connected Health Conference in Boston, keynotes and roundtables will discuss novel uses for these technologies that could be feasible within the next several years.
Digital data has become the lifeblood of healthcare, touching every facet of the delivery system and informing – sometimes transforming – the way clinical decisions are made and operational strategies are developed and deployed. And, as anyone who is a healthcare decision-maker knows all too well, there's more data than ever before – structured, unstructured, semi-structured; labs and imaging; genomic and proteomic; patent-generated data; social determinants of health – with more being amassed in electronic health records, connected devices and data lakes every day. Thankfully, the technology used to access, analyze and put that data to work is also getting more advanced on a continuing basis. Ever more sophisticated analytics software and precise predictive algorithms are at our fingertips. Artificial intelligence and machine learning tools are finding their place and hospitals and health systems large and small.
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Artificial intelligence will be blanketing the HIMSS20 conference and exhibition. It will be everywhere, in educational sessions and across the vast exhibit hall floor. Health IT vendor Optum stresses to HIMSS20 attendees that AI is of paramount concern today. That the complex set of technologies can achieve quite a lot on the administrative side and on the clinical side. Though perhaps it's best to stress the administrative first.