artificial intelligence in healthcare

Will artificial intelligence make healthcare less clunky?

Do you question the quality of the medical imagery you depend on to make a diagnosis? Do you come across a colleague’s notes that are unclear to you and require a phone call? The future of artificial intelligence or AI in healthcare promises a radical innovation with better images and less clunkiness.
artificial intelligence in healthcare

Will artificial intelligence make healthcare less clunky?

Kris Borgraeve - Co-founder Digital Practice

Kris Borgraeve

November 19, 2021

A chat with Bill Fox at SambaNova Systems

artificial intelligence for doctors

SambaNova Systems in the US works across major industries, to introduce new platforms for artificial intelligence. The founders have impressive credentials, and the innovation they bring to the health industry might still be a few years away from transforming our experience at the local family practice or specialty clinic.

But the promise is huge and when I hear Bill Fox talk about the revolutionary change, it makes me think of Apple. Change the hardware and software and our expectations of technology will never go back. I’m thinking of the good old mp3 player and the first-generation mobile phone that was not so smart.

In a similar way, what I understand from my conversation with Bill, is that global players like SambaNova Systems are doing just that: redesigning the platforms, the hardware and software, that we need, to do bigger things.

Artificial intelligence in healthcare - Bill Fox, SambaNova Systems
Bill Fox, SambaNova Systems

"We can really change the patient journey. Everything is so manual and clunky and difficult to get through. It’s a very one-to-one transaction. This experience can be vastly improved with AI"

What Bill predicts is a higher level of control over the follow-up. Recovery and patient contribution, or just the simple logistics of regular follow-up checks and appointments, would hugely benefit from these better platforms. And eventually, this all leads to better patient outcomes and a stronger healthcare system that makes use of this exponential growth in artificial intelligence.

Medical imaging is about to change forever

artificial intelligence for medical imaging

If a patient develops damage to the blood vessels at the back of the eye, traditional forms of medical imaging include the current gold standard: stereoscopic colour fundus photography in 7 standard fields.

The history of medicine shows us that our gold standards can easily be replaced by new, innovative techniques.

With medical imaging, the current reality is that most devices we find in our imaging clinics and medical practices are simply not powerful enough. The hardware and software do not have enough processing power or memory, to hold and display the whole image at the very high resolution that is required.

Hence the current reality of ‘tiled out’ medical imaging.

With more powerful platforms, medical images can be made available in various places throughout the patient journey, without compromising on the resolution and abandoning the habit of ‘tiling’ these images together.

Goodbye to deciphering clunky notes

artificial intelligence innovations

As a doctor, you explain aspects of the diagnosis to colleagues, general practitioners and patients. That happens in plain language. A variety of forms captures the information in structured fields, and that often becomes a universe the patient can not possibly understand.

What artificial intelligence does in this area is provide the ability to feed comments and descriptions of symptoms, and all aspects of the diagnostic process into an AI system. The system – in this new reality that is being developed as we speak – now reads and summarises the information. It truly understands the information and deals with it in an accurate way.

The AI platform that processes this input then feeds into a clinical decision system. The novelty is that the more AI develops towards bigger and better platforms, the more it will be able to also understand natural language, not organised in structured fields.

Other doctors, allied health professionals, nurses, assessors in insurance companies, will no longer have to go through a deciphering process of previous test results and notes because artificial intelligence will have reduced the workload.

Ultimately, SambaNova Systems believes that this will make individual care more effective and more efficient. You as a specialist will lose less time organising the information or working through someone else’s information. Your time can be freed up and used to work on the essence of your specialty.

Artificial intelligence in healthcare

Giving millions of people better access to healthcare

telehealth innovations

You can look at innovation with different hats on. As a specialist in private practice, this more effective platform to contain and share information, and to work through the diagnostic information, is promising from a business perspective. You gain more control over the use of your time.

It’s not just about getting better all the time. There is also a more holistic, global component. Artificial intelligence combined with telehealth solutions makes healthcare more accessible, also in places that are suffering from shortages.

Artificial intelligence in healthcare - Bill Fox, SambaNova Systems
Bill Fox, SambaNova Systems

"In India where they are 60,000 ophthalmologists short to serve their 1.3 billion population, the difference it makes is about hundreds of thousands of people being screened for diabetic retinopathy...or not being screened at all."

When telehealth meets this next generation of artificial intelligence, the system extracts information from a call and does the initial triage. The system puts you in touch with the right specialist.

This is the reality of what we have been mentally preparing for in science-fiction: AI becoming more and more intelligent, feeling less artificial, transforming into something completely different than the things we have grown familiar with: things like automated chatbots.

This is not about replacing all hardware and software in every doctor’s surgery in the next 12 months. It’s also not a distant future story, and the current work done by global players such as SambaNova Systems will become available as a service. Larger national and international players will then become the partners of the typical private practice, to implement the AI solutions.

In that not-so-distant future, your AI system transcribes what you describe. The information goes straight into the electronic health record. Other treating physicians get a verified and up-to-date file instantly. Test results, diagnostic data and treatment plans all come together and your practice delivers a higher service level than ever before.

Let's meet

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artificial intelligence in healthcare

Bill Fox is the Business Development Executive at SambaNova Systems. The company was founded in 2017 in Palo Alto, California. To find out more about the company’s capabilities in telehealth, drug discovery and disease diagnosis, visit the Sambanova Systems website or get in touch with Bill Fox via LinkedIn.

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