According to two recent industry surveys, artificial intelligence (AI) technology will be widely adopted in healthcare organizations in 2021. Black Book Research surveyed 540 health information management executives and revealed that 47% of healthcare organizations are using AI in one form or another, and 90% of them expect widespread implementation in the next five years, despite the operational constraints and financial priorities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 1
COVID-19 has no doubt sped up the reason behind the desire to implement AI technologies. The Third Annual Optum Survey on AI in Health Care reports that 83% of healthcare executives have an AI strategy in place, and another 15% are planning on creating one. In fact, 56% say they are accelerating or expanding their AI deployment timelines in response to COVID-19. Of those surveyed, 59% anticipate AI delivering tangible cost savings within three years—a 90% increase since 2018.
AI technologies like VSTAlert provide round the clock continuous remote monitoring of patients with a risk of falling. This predictive technology alerts nurses 30-65 seconds before a patient intends to get up. Other devices, like bed sensors and cameras, send alerts after the patient has already fallen, which is too late. Injuries from these falls usually end up costing tens of thousands of dollars per patient, igniting an incentive to stop them altogether. Fifty-one percent of the survey respondents who are in late-stage deployment of AI technologies (i.e. deployed before COVID-19), believe they’ll achieve a return on their AI investments faster due to their pandemic response.
KEY FINDINGS FROM THE OPTUM SURVEY
Healthcare executives who reported that their organizations accelerated their AI plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Confidence in seeing a return as organizations more fully implement their AI strategy: More than half (57%) of organizations in late-stage AI deployment believe they’ll see savings in as soon as two years.
Healthcare execs who report improving health outcomes and patient experiences as the greatest impact of their investment in AI.
Healthcare executives who believe AI deployment will create jobs, not destroy them, including 76% of those in the late stages of AI deployment.
While the benefits of AI are clear, most of the healthcare industry still sees itself as behind the curve, as only 20% are in the late stages of deployment.