AI in Health Care is Picking Up Pace According to Survey

The survey included 500 respondents who are leaders in the health care industry.

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According to a survey by OptumIQ, 62 percent of health care leaders say their organizations have initiated artificial intelligence strategies in 2019. Compared to last year, this is an 88 percent increase. Of these, 90 percent believe they’ll receive a return on their investment earlier than initially predicted. Half of those believe they’ll see an ROI within three years.

Compared to 2018, industry leaders forecast to invest an average increase of $7.3 million in AI in hopes of streamlining workflows. It could also lead to creating more job opportunities for qualified workers.

The health care industry as a whole has high confidence that AI will improve health care. Clinical and administrative leaders indicated higher trust levels for AI, although leaders had more confidence in administrative applications (62 percent) than clinical ones (38 percent).  

Many leaders anticipate funding shifts for AI-related projects. The leaders surveyed forecast that their organizations will invest around $39.7 million on average within the next five years.

Fifty percent of businesses are expected to invest in automating business processes that include administrative tasks and customer service. Thirty-six percent say they’ll invest more in clinical care recommendations like drug therapies. Thirty-six will also move towards speeding up research for new therapies.

Health care executives are also hoping that AI will help meet its administrative and operational challenges and better automate the pre-authorization process. They also hope AI will better target health care for individuals and manage electronic health records with greater efficiency through automation.

Dan Schumacher, president and COO of Optum, said: “These findings validate that AI is vital to holistically transform health care. It’s encouraging to see executives’ growing trust in, and adoption of, AI to make data more actionable in making the health system work better for everyone. Working together, I am confident we can improve the quality, experiences and reduce the total cost of health care in meaningful, sustainable ways.”

The survey was the second such survey from OptumIQ. Optum is an information and technology health services business and is part of the UnitedHealth Group. There were 500 participants in the survey which consisted of health care leaders from major hospitals, insurance and health plans, employers, and life sciences. You can discover more of the survey’s findings here.

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