Doctors practice medicine to deliver care, not do data entry. Yet in the era of electronic medical records (EMRs), for every hour spent with a patient, physicians spend nearly two hours on paperwork. What if technology could take care of the paperwork for us? Record-keeping systems in health care were built for back-office functions, not bedside medicine. Most EMR vendors started out building products to collect payments and schedule appointments.
"Siri, where is the nearest Starbucks?" "Suki, let's get Mr. Jones a two-week run of clarithromycin and schedule him back here for a follow-up in two weeks." Doesn't sound that crazy, does it? For years, voice assistants have been changing the way people shop, get around, and manage their home entertainment systems. Now they're starting to show up someplace even a little more personal: the doctor's office.
Jim Andrews is in a medical office wearing just a hospital gown, staring at his doctor of 11 years, who is staring back at him through the sleek, metallic lens of Google Glass. As the doctor examines Andrews, a new kind of medical scribe is watching the examination, transcribing everything he sees. The scribe, named Rahul, is thousands of miles away in India, and he is viewing the office visit live through the pint-size, WiFi-connected camera attached to the doctor's glasses. "When was his last physical?" Rahul's nearly immediate answer pops up in a text bubble display in the right corner of the doctor's field of vision.
Wearables aren't just for tracking steps anymore, as a new tool is helping doctors transcribe right from their smartwatch. This morning, voice-powered healthcare company Notable unveiled its latest technology, a voice-powered artificial intelligence wearable for doctors. "The current physician workflow is rife with administrative burdens and complexity. With growing documentation requirements, studies have shown that physicians spend more than half of their day in EHRs and a third of their day with patients," Pranay Kapadia, Notable CEO, said in an email to MobiHealthNews. "With Notable, physicians free up their day to offer better patient care.
The amount of money flowing into healthcare artificial intelligence startups is staggering. Since 2013, venture capitalists have dumped $4.3 billion into startups looking to improve patient outcomes and reduce health care expenses with AI applications, according to research firm CB Insights. Healthcare is the most anticipated application of artificial intelligence, judging by the amount of money flowing into its development. But building a healthcare technology startup presents unique challenges that entrepreneurs don't encounter in other fields. Even the most well-funded startups will face six key challenges in bringing AI into health care.