The hustle and bustle of daily life can often leave us feeling stretched thin, with endless tasks and to-do lists to conquer. Fortunately, information technology has stepped in to provide us with tools and solutions that make our lives easier and more efficient than ever before. One of the most significant innovations in this regard is automation, which has become a vital component of modern software. From self-driving cars to voice assistants, this remarkable invention has permeated every aspect of our lives, and the medical sector is no exception. Let’s take a look at five use cases proving that workflow automation in healthcare is essential.
Automation in the healthcare industry
Automation in healthcare isn’t something that you might switch on and off. It has its spectrum and levels, and medical professionals don’t just blindly hand over their tasks to digital platforms. Forbes experts speculate on the extent to which AI can replace human doctors and dispel doubts about their future. Human labor and knowledge are still extremely relevant, so it’s essential to hit the perfect balance between it and the power of machines.
Back in 2021, Andrew Ng identified five levels of automation. His classification is based on medical imaging but can be applied to other cases as well:
- Human only – the name speaks for itself. This involves cases where AI intervention is either unnecessary or dangerous.
- Shadow mode – this type of healthcare automation is widely used to improve medical diagnoses. A healthcare expert examines a patient and makes a diagnosis based on their knowledge and experience. In turn, an AI system analyzes the same data in real-time. Its output isn’t immediately presented to the medical professional or the patient, but it’s stored for further analysis and machine learning purposes.
- AI assistance – Although a human doctor is ultimately responsible for making a diagnosis, an AI system can provide valuable assistance by offering suggestions. For instance, when analyzing an X-ray, it can highlight specific areas for the doctor to focus on.
- Partial automation – AI has a solid say in making decisions and provides a diagnosis. If it lacks confidence or encounters a complex case, it’s a human who makes the final decision.
- Full automation – AI is fully responsible for setting diagnoses.
While Level 5 in healthcare automation is a promising idea, its feasibility remains uncertain in many areas of the industry. The expertise of top professionals and skilled nurses is still indispensable in ensuring accurate diagnoses and quality care. As we look toward the future, it’s important to consider how automation can supplement and enhance the skills of human medical professionals rather than replace them entirely.
Key examples of automation in healthcare
Automation software is constantly evolving, and there appear new striking solutions. There are areas where automation has proven especially efficient and demanded. Here are the main examples of automation in healthcare:
Electronic health/medical records
In today’s fast-paced healthcare sector, EHRs have become a game-changing tool for medical professionals. They introduce automation in healthcare facilities and make the lives of medical specialists much easier. By streamlining the process of entering patient data and reducing the risk of errors, they are revolutionizing the way healthcare providers operate and deliver care. Imagine having an intelligent system that can flag potential drug interactions or other medical issues based on a patient’s medical history, allowing doctors to take proactive measures before things get out of hand. Thus, EHRs not only save time but also improve the quality of patient care.
Another example of automation in healthcare is related to medical imaging. It has come a long way thanks to automation. It has transformed the way radiologists and other industry professionals detect life-threatening conditions such as cancer and heart disease. AI algorithms can now analyze complex medical images, making diagnosis faster and more accurate than ever before. The automation process enables computers to pinpoint areas of concern, enabling doctors to review and provide more informed diagnoses. This saves crucial time and ensures that patients receive the best possible care. With the continuous advancement of technology, we can expect further improvements and striking inventions in the coming years, ensuring even more advanced automation in the healthcare industry.
This area is where the power of automation reveals itself in full glory. And the popularity of surgical robots keeps on growing. As per the data by Statista, there is a significant growth in the worldwide surgical robotics market. In 20219, it was valued at approximately $66.02 billion and is expected to expand to about $119.67 billion by 2030.
Robotic surgery ensures unprecedented precision and accuracy in complex surgical procedures – a thing previously hard to imagine with traditional methods. This cutting-edge technology offers numerous benefits, including advanced visualization of surgical sites, 3D view of the patient’s anatomy, minimal scarring, reduced blood loss, and speedy recovery. As the entire workflow is minimally invasive, patients experience less pain and don’t need to stay in hospital for many days. The higher precision, the quicker the recovery time. Isn’t it remarkable?
As information technology keeps on developing, the potential of robotic surgery to revolutionize the healthcare industry is limitless. The automation in this field is expected to become increasingly prevalent in the years to come.
Prescription filling is one of the most crucial aspects of healthcare, and automation has transformed this workflow, making it faster, more efficient, and accurate. Automated prescription filling systems can process a high volume of orders in a fraction of the time that it would take a human to complete, and with much higher accuracy rates.
So, pharmacists can now focus more on patient care and counseling instead of being bogged down with manual data entry and filling prescriptions. Automation in this field has also reduced the likelihood of errors in prescription filling, which can have serious consequences for patients. Smart systems can quickly and accurately sort, count, and package medications.
As healthcare continues to evolve, the role of automation in prescription filling will only become more critical. With the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, automated prescription filling systems will be able to analyze large amounts of data, identify trends and patterns, and make better-informed decisions about drug interactions, dosages, and patient safety.
Telemedicine has achieved great popularity with both doctors and patients. As the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, its necessity became even more obvious. But even in calmer epochs the possibility of receiving high-quality care while staying at home is priceless.
Telemedicine platforms and tools have robust automation mechanisms that allow healthcare providers to streamline their workflows and provide impeccable patient care. Automation comes in handy when scheduling appointments, setting reminders, or collecting patient data remotely. With AI and ML on board, RPM solutions ensure better diagnosing, healthcare recommendation plans, and constant real-time monitoring. This is vitally important for people with chronic conditions.
Healthcare process automation is indispensable in modern medical institutions. It allows professionals to carry out their tasks with more precision and spare time for activities demanding human involvement.
Therefore, a medical institution willing to take internal processes to the next level and embrace healthcare workflow automation should enter a partnership with leading IT professionals. Experienced developers with relevant industry expertise can implement robust automation mechanisms in any digital platform. With their help, doctors will achieve greater results and patients will benefit from high-quality medical services.