AI Brings Promise to Telehealth

Samara Rosenfeld
APRIL 29, 2019
telehealth

Approximately 45% of millennials reported having no primary care provider and expressed no desire to get one in the near future, according to a report from Kaiser foundation.

And while leading health systems and employers have been investing in virtual care for years, adoption rates in the U.S. are still below 1%.

“Access to quality healthcare remains an allusive holy grail for companies,” said Kathy Savitt, former chief marketing officer and head of media at Yahoo, on a panel on living the future of virtual care and artificial intelligence to make happier and healthier employees at World Health Care Congress 2019.

At the discussion, Sean Mehra, chief strategy officer and co-founder at Health Tap, said that software has not always been a popular topic in healthcare.

But the tides are turning for telehealth.

With adoption rates of these platforms up 340%, the technology has a chance to lower costs and provide care more easily than a traditional hospital or office visit.

Sharawn Connors, vice president of global rewards and diversity and inclusion at Flex, said that some people don’t feel comfortable going to a doctor.

Telehealth platforms can give consumers a chance to access care from licensed physicians 24/7 from anywhere.

Mehra added that artificial intelligence (AI) holds a lot of promise for virtual care.

“What AI has the opportunity to do is automate some of the demand, the simple common things that don’t require expensive, scarce, precious doctor time, that can allow you to self-treat or get an answer to your health question,” Mehra said.

AI can save physicians time and aid them in being more efficient and better at their job.

In healthcare, one of the biggest opportunities with telehealth lies in a symptom checker.

A symptom checker is engaging and can help the patient make a decision about what kind of care they can seek and have more control over their treatment.

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