What is healthcare technology to you? A state-of-the-art imaging machine or an ultra-modern lab system? What about an intelligent patient/physician mobile app?

The New York City health system, the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Pediatric Cardiologist Anthony Chang, chief intelligence and innovation officer at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, all believe advancements in mobile technology and artificial intelligence to be the future of healthcare technology, and we agree.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come quite a long way over the years, but since its birth, AI has been fundamentally misunderstood, and Anthony Chang would like to change that perception, especially in the exam room. Referencing a Huffington Post article titled, “Can Artificial Intelligence Turn Your Doctor’s Attention Back to You?”, Chang said, “My own doctor most of the time is tapping away on his computer, and not really looking at me anymore. We need to get back to that time where doctors engaged with their patients”. The author, Meg Graham, mentioned an invisible third party in the room that could mine and crunch data to help doctors identify treatment options.

How would that actually work and how would that third party be invisible?

Electronic Health Records have become the industry norm and inevitably computers have taken over the exam room. To that end, these computers are a highly visible “third party”. There are some who believe that patients get more personal attention with the nurse checking their vitals and current weight then they actually do with their doctor. Every exam room is fitted with a PC or laptop that your doctor is inevitably typing on for the short duration of their appointment. The need to maintain accurate medical records is understood, but for every minute spent logging symptoms and past medical history, the doctor has failed to actually talk to you, their patient, which tells us the personal approach to patient communication no longer exists in today’s exam room.

Sure there are exceptions to this, but as Chang suggests we need to incorporate AI in a very creative and innovative way into healthcare technology. We’re not asking physicians to stop taking records, but we are suggesting more time should be spent with their patients than with the keyboard. We believe the solution to this disconnect lies with the combination of Intelligent Virtual Assistant (IVA) technology and wearable technology.

True Image Interactive’s IVA offers a seamless integration of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and speech recognition capabilities. This new advancement in virtual assistant technology could be available to medical personnel, pre-exam, loaded with all of the patient’s pertinent real-time health records – symptoms, vital signs, current weight, family history, etc., for your doctors reference prior to the appointment.

Wearable Technology

As for wearable technology, independent market researcher, GFK forecasts 51 million wearables slated to be purchased globally in 2015 – a perpetual increase from 17.6 million sold last year alone. This trend in fashion technology could easily create an ecosystem of captured data utilized by medical personnel and translated into real-time medical health records. However, even with the most expensive wearable, some medical questions still can’t be answered. Questions such as family history, past medical treatments and history, current symptoms, and weight. True Image’s virtual assistant, through its conversational interface, has compiled that previously unavailable information simply because the patient has already recorded it with their IVA.

Our virtual assistant presents medical personnel with reviewable data prior to the patient’s arrival. Physicians can view activity levels, diet, vitals, medication compliance, and more. Doctors can even take proactive measures like ordering blood tests or imaging diagnostics. Technology advancements such as this are highly quantifiable for consumers, insurance companies, and healthcare systems. Bridging the gap between lost time, communication, patient/doctor interaction, customer service, and the most problematic area for healthcare systems, hospital readmissions, is vital to remedying some of the healthcare industry’s largest problems.

IVA technology coupled with wearable technology can and will greatly reduce this debt and solve these widespread dilemmas.