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Four ways artificial intelligence is revolutionizing health care

March 01, 2017
Health IT
From the March 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

4: Patient monitoring and telehealth

Health care providers are increasingly looking for ways to monitor the health of their patients in outpatient settings to determine points of intervention to help reduce readmissions. The increase in adoption of wearable devices provides more data for closely monitoring chronic conditions and planning timely interventions. Using machine intelligence, health care providers can monitor patients’ medication adherence and disease outcomes over time to determine the types of intervention that would be most beneficial.

Machine intelligence is also promising for applications in preventive care and telemedicine. For example, patients may use a nurse call service and have data uploaded from their smart-phones or smart sensors to analyze the best and most cost-effective next step in treatment. Patients managing chronic conditions can use smart platforms at home to interact and feed data to their care providers. A prominent nonprofit organization has successfully utilized machine intelligence to distinguish a control set of healthy patients from Parkinson’s patients based purely on smart-phone accelerometer and gyroscope sensor data. The organization was also able to identify two distinct sub-cohorts of Parkinson’s patients, again based on the gait patterns revealed in the sensor data.

The ability to detect such differences in disease states holds large promise for the ability to monitor and proactively manage patients at home, particularly with debilitating diseases like Parkinson’s where the patient may not always be able to provide the necessary updates on their health. The best use of artificial intelligence is to augment, amplify and guide human intelligence. In health care, that means better best practices, sooner. Machine learning tools can deliver faster insights into which processes are working well for which patients and which ones need to be optimized. These distinctions are essential to deliver on the promise of value-based health care.

About the author: Prashanth Kini is vice president and head of product, Healthcare, for Ayasdi, a developer of machine intelligent applications for health systems and payer organizations.
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