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AI Automating Healthcare’s Administrative Tasks

Natan Rosenfeld Natan Rosenfeld June 25, 2021
Medically reviewed by Susan Kerrigan, MD and Marianne Madsen

AI, short for artificial intelligence, is a relatively new concept. It made its first appearance sometime in the mid-20th century, but the early prototypes and applications of AI were a far cry from what we have today. Nowadays, AI is omnipresent in our lives. It’s installed on our mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices. If you’ve ever used a media streaming service, the recommendations you get for new movies to watch or new songs to listen to are powered by AI. Pretty much every website you visit uses AI in some form. And in the next 10 years, we will see even more practical applications of AI, in almost every field, including medicine. 

 

That’s right, hospitals have also jumped on the AI bandwagon. We haven’t quite made the switch to AI-powered robots that can perform surgeries with 100% accuracy, but various hospitals are using AI to solve problems in the workplace. One example of a company providing AI to the healthcare industry is a new startup called Olive. 

 

“The healthcare industry is facing unique challenges like workflow inefficiencies, leaked revenue, burned out employees, and wasted resources in a time when healthcare margins are already razor thin,” reads a statement on Olive’s website. To tackle these problems, Olive has developed AI technology to automate repetitive processes with complete accuracy, saving time, effort, and money.  Healthcare workers, tired of frustrating diagnosing errors and carrying out mundane tasks, can be assigned to more important positions, leaving Olive’s AI to do their job for them. 

Sean Lane, Olive’s CEO, had exactly this in mind when he decided to launch the startup. “They [hospital workers] copy, they paste, they manipulate data, they become robots. They click and type and extract and import, all day long–and it’s one of the leading reasons that one out of every three dollars spent in the industry today is spent on administrative costs,” said Lane.

 

Olive is just one player bringing AI to the world of medicine, though. Many other startup companies are competing with Olive to bring automation to hospitals across the country, such as K2, an innovative new company with a similar product to Olive’s. K2 Process Automation aims to “optimize case management and hospital staff operations,” in part by granting its AI access to a hospital’s roster of patient information and cases, then linking it to the hospital’s network of computers, enabling hospital staff and clinicians to view the entire database from anywhere. Why have all this data stored on one system when you can access it from a computer of your choice?

 

Furthermore, the K2 AI can automatically update computer systems whenever new medical records are available, saving doctors valuable time that could be used elsewhere. K2’s AI can also handle patient inquiries, sending them automated notifications when their test results come in, as well as log phone calls and store the information accordingly.

 

Startups like K2 and Olive will become more widespread as the healthcare industry decides to fully embrace what the 21st century has to offer. It’s an exciting time for the doctors and medical professionals of today. 

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