As this blog has already pointed out, artificial intelligence technology has the potential to transform healthcare in a variety of ways. Physicians and researchers throughout the world have already begun experimenting with AI and have demonstrated that it can improve the accuracy of surgeons’ work as well as assist in the development of new drugs.
Such developments are of course a huge turning point in the industry. However, it’s also important to point out that AI can help reduce the cost of healthcare and its related services and the following specific examples will help you to better understand how:
Save Insurers Money
The behind-the-scenes and administrative tasks that insurers must undertake in order to provide customers with insurance are onerous but essential. Insurers must offer reliable customer support, manage billing, and implement marketing campaigns designed to increase awareness about their services. All of these tasks are time-consuming and require a substantial investment of both time and money.
AI is changing all of this. This is because AI programmes often have the ability to perform many of the common administrative tasks that would otherwise require human labour. In addition, AI can complete these tasks more efficiently than human employees and with greater accuracy.
It is too early to confidently say exactly how much money insurers could save by embracing AI, however a recent Accenture report estimates that the average insurer could save approximately $7 billion over the course of 18 months by offloading administrative work to AI programmes. Ideally, this cost reduction would yield two major benefits for customers: insurers would leverage more operating capital to improve their services and products, while also potentially reducing the cost of those services and products.
Additionally, health insurance providers aren’t the only organisations that would benefit from allowing AI to handle certain administrative tasks. Physicians and hospitals can use AI in this capacity as well, which would enable them to reduce costs and focus more of their time and energy on optimising patient care.
Reduce Costs Related to Human Error
A certain degree of human error is unavoidable in healthcare. Despite physicians’ best intentions, humans can still make mistakes, for example: when performing surgery or diagnosing illnesses. These mistakes are often costly.
Luckily, this is another instance in which AI can guard against unintended consequences. The Accenture report also estimates that healthcare providers that adopt AI can reduce costs associated with surgery by $40 billion.
It is worth noting that these are merely early estimates. Across all industries, it is clear that AI technologies are rapidly improving. This is partially due to the fact that they are typically programmed to “learn” from their own mistakes. Therefore, the more often that an AI performs healthcare-related tasks, the more effective and accurate it will be. It is predicted that its potential to reduce costs will only increase in the future.
In other words, it is a good idea for physicians and researchers to begin experimenting with AI sooner rather than later. The earlier that they begin implementing AI solutions, the greater the long-term benefits. They simply need to ensure that there is sufficient human oversight to prevent the AI from making mistakes that could be overlooked. Although AI is useful, it is still a new tool and will likely need some tweaking before it is perfect.
Boost the Effective of Preventive Services
It is essential that healthcare providers offer preventive services to patients and it’s easy to understand why. When patients and their physicians take steps to prevent illnesses before they develop, patient outcomes are more likely to be optimal.
The cost of healthcare also naturally decreases when preventive medicine is emphasised. After all, it usually costs much more to treat a medical condition than it does to prevent it.
AI helps by identifying early signs of medical conditions that human physicians might overlook. AI has also been shown to effectively determine whether certain patients are more likely to develop some illnesses than others. Identifying these warning signs early will allow physicians to develop and implement better preventive strategies.
Improve Marketing Outcomes
The importance of marketing in the healthcare field cannot be overlooked. Quite simply, talented physicians and healthcare providers can’t help patients if they don’t know about their services.
Once again, AI can help by using AI to analyse data from past marketing campaigns, healthcare providers can more accurately identify which strategies yield the greatest benefits, maximising their return on investment. The less money that is spent on marketing, the more affordable patient care may be.
Remember, these examples represent the beginning of a revolution in the healthcare industry. The power of AI to reduce costs will only grow as technology improves. As a result, everyone from insurers to actual patients will substantially benefit.