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How AI Helps Healthcare Providers Deliver Better Care

Jan 19, 2022 Parth Patel

Digital Process Automation (DPA) is the next step in the evolution of Business Process Management (BPM). DPA has two important aspects.

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When discussing Artificial Intelligence (AI) in conjunction with healthcare, it's easy to picture George Jetson visiting a robotic, self-directed doctor.

The truth is, we’re not far off from that reality. The use of robotics in surgeries, for instance, is not uncommon. But what about AI? It, too, has a myriad of applications in healthcare today, transforming the work being done, who is doing it, and positively impacting the patient experience and care delivery.

Streamlining healthcare at every level will be crucial in the coming years. It’s predicted that by 2050, 1 in 4 Americans and Europeans will be over the age of 65. That means more complex care for a broader group of people will be needed, while at the same time, the looming healthcare employment crisis is accelerating as healthcare workers experience burnout.

Providers need ways to improve patient care delivery in more complex care scenarios with less staff. Across the continuum of care, AI is the answer.

Healthcare Areas of Impact for AI

In an article on the topic, McKinsey & Co. notes that “Building on automation, artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize healthcare and help address some of the challenges” that the healthcare industry faces in the near future.

The article further calls out six "areas of impact" in which AI can improve health management and operations while strengthening innovation in the industry. These areas include:


  • Care delivery
  • Chronic care management
  • Self-care/prevention/wellness
  • Triage and diagnosis
  • Diagnostics
  • Clinical decision support


This high-level thinking is crucial in moving AI into the healthcare industry, but what’s important to realize is that it isn’t just large care systems and enterprise-scale research companies that have access to AI applications. AI is transforming the day-to-day care for patients for providers of every size.

4 Ways AI is Improving Care Today

Symptom Analysis

The appearance and reporting of symptoms for an illness can be uneven, whether in the early stages of its appearance or across a diverse population. A perfect example of this is the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers are scrambling to uncover indicators of who is most at risk and most likely to experience the most severe symptoms.

Mt. Sinai hospital has used machine learning to help unravel these mysteries. Working with clinical partners in China, Mt. Sinai processed the CT scans of more than 900 patients, including 419 of those that tested positive for COVID-19. The AI algorithm was able to show a statistically significant higher sensitivity than radiologists reviewing scans and clinical data. In fact, it recognized 68% of COVID-positive cases from those patients who had received negative CT scans. Teams are now tuning the model to help surface potential indicators of case severity based on the information so that patient treatment can be optimized.

Accelerate Scientific Discovery

New scientific discoveries - the kind that can lead to more effective medications and treatment plans - require processing large amounts of unstructured data to connect the dots to create structure, outcome-based solutions.

Data analysis is a time-consuming task for humans, but it's what machine learning and AI were designed for. Researchers feed machine learning algorithms vast amounts of clinical data and, with rapid analysis, can correlate important, sometimes seemingly unrelated information. The AI scales the data analysis, leading to faster development of new treatments.

Trend and Insight Analysis

Spotting trends is another strength of AI, even in small populations. After ingesting clinical data for a population, AI applications can analyze the information - similar to what it does for scientific discovery - and recognize patterns in patient data. This brings attention to health indicators that might otherwise go unidentified, assigning risk scores at scale so that providers can take action to better help their patients.

An example is spotting trends in re-enrollment in substance abuse. Organizations, including state and local program officials, have a vested interest in spotting the behaviors that lead to recidivism in substance abuse. Is it the substance itself, how they entered the program, the patient's age or gender identification, or some other factor that plays a part in a relapse?

A recent demo of Salesforce Einstein Discovery shows that it can help with this exact problem. Once co-factors are identified, providers can recommend specific and customized treatments to help individuals overcome their dependency. 

Conversational AI

Better care doesn’t always mean direct clinical action. The patient experience spans from front office interactions to billing to care delivery and after-care treatment. Better care includes reducing friction in patient interactions, thereby lowering the threshold to initiating and participating in those interactions.

Salesforce Service Cloud Einstein can expand access to self-service options for patients. Inquiries about office hours and prescription refill requests can be allocated to conversational AI applications - also known as chatbots - freeing service agents to engage with and focus on those patients who have more complex concerns or require additional help.

Chatbots can also help streamline the process for those patients who need to speak with a service agent. By gathering the right information in preparation for a discussion with a customer service representative, agents can be ready to answer questions quickly. Einstein can also facilitate agent routing, delivering the patient to the customer service agent best suited to help them instead of enduring call transfers or long hold times.

From a small doctor's office to a Fortune 500 pharma enterprise, every healthcare provider can leverage AI within their business to offer better care to patients. Salesforce Einstein brings the future into healthcare's day-to-day operations, streamlining patient communications and elevating activities across the continuum of care.

Six Consulting can help bring AI into your business. Our Salesforce architects, admins, and developers have extensive experience assisting a wide variety of healthcare providers to create seamless and well-supported Einstein applications that integrate with Health Cloud. Contact us today to discuss the challenges you face and how Salesforce, AI, and an integration strategy can offer better care for patients and care management while improving operations for your business.

It’s predicted that by 2050,

1 in 4 Americans and Europeans will be over the age of 65.

Mt. Sinai processed the CT scans of more than 900 patients,

including 419 of those that tested positive for COVID-19.

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