Optimizing Telemedicine Logistics through AI
By MedTech Outlook | Tuesday, March 05, 2019
In the past, debatable techniques, doubtful payments, and trust factor have prevented patients and physicians from entirely using medical technology. Telemedicine has helped to provide cost-effective, value-based care in communities and, particularly in rural areas where superior health facilities are still insufficient. The interaction between doctors and patients in real-time is now made more accessible, and at the same time, the technology has helped reduce the travel involved for people to engage with a physician.
With these aspects aimed at responding to a large amount of data used in healthcare, the need for consistent accuracy in complex procedures and increased demand for healthcare services, it is clear that the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a vital role in the operation and implementation of the technology. The efficiency of time allocation and delivery of healthcare needs and operations can be developed through automation of hospital logistics.
AI can make an enormous difference by collecting massive amounts of data, understanding complex constraints, and smoothly routing small packets of doctors' time around a network in the best logistical sense. Traditionally, logistics is associated with the trucking or package delivery industry. In fact, the Economist has recently reported that the delivery of 25 packages corresponds to approximately 15 septillion routes. Because of this reason, in particular, many companies dealing with complicated webs of variables, such as AI, turn to new technology to help streamline and optimize their operations.
Telemedicine is one area of healthcare that holds the ability to address logistical challenges. Telemedicine was born out of the need to consult experts in rural areas and regions that lack specialists to provide care. Regulatory barriers, unfavorable models of reimbursement and inconsequential coverage by private insurers in the past for telemedicine services of this kind have been slowed down. However, the potential for increased use of this model escalates as these barriers begin to decrease. The organizations will also evaluate the cancer population in clinical trials, which is usually underrepresented. Flatiron, through its life sciences partner, will also work with the FDA.
The healthcare environment is facing scaling problems as telemedicine adoption increases. When there are hundreds of doctors, working in various facilities at different times of the day, it results in a “combinatorial explosion.” These sheer combinations are the major challenges in building facilities and matching doctors with suitable consultations. The ultimate goal is to establish an extensive network of experts, which provides a wide variety of expertise and is always available on-demand.
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Telemedicine has become a dominant force in the medical sector due to its rapid development and expanding patient care. This transition, which offers numerous benefits, is accepted by hospitals and medical centers.