Revolutionizing Healthcare: How AI Is Saving Lives and Cutting Costs
November 29, 2023Beatriz Lucki
The rapid advance of digital healthcare technology has seamlessly integrated into our daily lives. Wearable devices track our heart rates and sleep patterns; robotic surgery has become increasingly common; and individuals can effortlessly fill prescriptions and arrange calls with member services using voice-activated devices like Alexa. These developments are, in part, fueled by artificial intelligence, and this same level of innovation has the potential to enhance healthcare outcomes for your employees and, in turn, your company.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly become a game-changer in the healthcare industry, bringing remarkable advantages to healthcare professionals, patients, and employers. Here are some key benefits employers can realize from using AI in healthcare.
Earlier detection of diseases
One of the most significant benefits of AI in healthcare is its ability to facilitate earlier detection of diseases. By harnessing the power of data from standard diagnostic tests, doctors can diagnose conditions and illnesses more quickly and accurately. This can result in cost savings and help prevent delays in care, ultimately saving lives. For example, according to the American Cancer Society and their partner Color, early cancer detection can reduce deaths by 45%.
Medications where and when you need them
Effective healthcare relies on accurate forecasts of supply and demand for medical products. AI plays a pivotal role in anticipating these needs and ensuring that medical items are readily available when and where patients and healthcare staff require them. Precise forecasting and inventory management can reduce waste by up to 30%, according to the Healthcare Financial Management Association. In the U.S., AI-driven inventory management has been shown to reduce processing slots by 50%, contributing to cost savings for patients and employers.
Increased administrative efficiency, reporting, and insights
Managing employee health plans requires collecting, organizing, and tracking large amounts of data from multiple sources. AI tools excel at taking raw data and turning it into actionable information. Predictive analytics use claims data to forecast future utilization. Automated data entry and billing eliminate manual paperwork. HR leaders rely on health plan analytics and reporting to guide strategy and measure performance. AI augments the capability of employers to identify cost drivers, usage trends, high-risk groups, gaps in care, and other key metrics. The insights uncovered by AI analytics enable the development of benefit packages and programs tailored to the organization’s workforce.
Improving health outcomes
Driving innovation and drug discovery
AI is revolutionizing drug discovery and development, bringing innovation to the pharmaceutical industry. Researchers can now develop more targeted medicines, expedite drug development, and bring life-saving drugs to the market faster. A report from the World Health Organization indicates that AI-driven drug discovery could potentially save millions of lives by speeding up drug approvals.
According to Pharmaceutical Technology, AI algorithms have shown the potential to condense a typical four- or five-year exploratory research phase into less than a year, significantly reducing the time and cost to get a drug to market, which is particularly important for indications with few treatment options.
Better surgical outcomes
AI technology empowers healthcare professionals by enabling them to improve surgical procedures and enhance their skills. AI can analyze surgical videos, offering opportunities for efficiency and accuracy. It serves as a valuable learning tool for doctors and residents. The use of AI in healthcare has the potential to prevent 86% of medical errors, which are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. In fact, residents and medical students using AI simulations demonstrated a 33% improvement in surgical skill acquisition, based on research conducted by the American College of Surgeons. Incorporating AI into surgical procedures promises a future with enhanced precision, reduced risk, and improved patient outcomes.
Enhancing the employee experience
Customizing your wellness services for holistic care
Imagine your employees being offered wellness-focused benefits tailored to their needs and wellness goals, such as managing chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. AI and machine learning can play a pivotal role. Their ability to swiftly identify trends and patterns in claims enables AI to recommend timely, relevant, and impactful solutions for improved health. Moreover, AI can employ claims-based algorithms to screen for common chronic conditions, enabling proactive intervention and potentially preventing these issues entirely.
For example, if an employee is at risk for diabetes, they could receive support for glucose management, while someone with high cholesterol might gain access to heart health resources. Advanced analytics solutions integrate clinical, behavioral, financial, and social factors to promote comprehensive care. By foreseeing health risks and addressing them proactively, these approaches can lead to long-term cost savings. This level of personalization improves employee satisfaction with their health benefits. The end result is a healthier and happier workforce.
Use of AI tools
AI chatbots and virtual assistants create simple interfaces for employees to access benefit information and quickly obtain responses. This saves the employee time while still connecting them with the expertise needed. Employees are more likely to be productive and engaged when receiving the support they need.
An employer can help reduce the stress of navigating and evaluating healthcare options through an AI decision-support tool. By empowering better decisions, employees are more likely to understand, appreciate, and use all the benefits your company offers, thereby increasing employee satisfaction and happiness.
Implementing AI technologies offers numerous advantages for employers, including managing costs, improving health outcomes, and enhancing the experience of providing healthcare benefits to employees. AI's ability to personalize services, automate administrative tasks, and generate data insights enables employers to optimize their benefits strategies and better serve their workforce. As AI solutions mature, they will become an even more integral component of building robust and competitive employee benefit offerings that help attract talent and promote well-being.