Artificial intelligence (AI) will be embedded in everything we know in the healthcare system: it is going to help surgeries, will make patient recovery easier, it will help in our decisions regarding finances, administration, HR in the healthcare system. AI will allow us to focus on the high-value items. The low-value items will be taken care of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

To this future become a reality we need a digital workforce in the healthcare system too. This digital workforce will need to have a workforce skillset suitable for the era of AI. According to Sam Hanna, associate dean of graduate and professional studies and program director in healthcare management at American University, Washington D.C. people good at strategical thinking have a chance of succeeding in this new workforce. They, of course, will need to understand a little bit of source code, but more important, they need to ask the question why I am doing what I’m doing, they need to understand the tactics. So, it is no longer suitable for a graduate from a master program to only use a specific tool, because that tool would be obsolete in two years. A valuable member of the digital workforce needs to learn about processes, systems, requires strategical thinking, tactical knowledge.

When we talk about all different technologies all comes down to how we train people, what kind of tools, techniques, languages they are learning so they can analyze the right data and come up with the right solution. This is just the knowledge component. Healthcare professionals also need to know why they are analyzing patient data. It’s a big mistake to jump right into the how phase, to shoot into the dark and take whatever solution emerges. You need to define a hypothesis, gather the right data, analyze them and then draw your personalized conclusion. The amount of data available is also overwhelming, and you, as a healthcare professional must discern the right data, in the right amount. This data allows us to have a much better holistic view of our patient, to create targeted therapies.

We fully understand those healthcare professionals who received their training 40 years are not skilled in this area. Health technology companies like us play a crucial role: we need to translate this knowledge to them in a way that is not scary. It may sound easy, but it is not, I assure you. It is a complicated process, that takes a long time. Moreover, do not forget, healthcare clinicians only make up about 20% of the workforce in the healthcare system, and in the remaining 80% – in administration, finance, HR – AI also plays a significant role. A whole new field to tackle with, entire new challenges to take on.

NETIS, as a Microsoft Silver Partner, recommends Microsoft’s Azure AI services.

Author: Zoltan Gelencser