Originally, I was going to write about six technologies that are changing healthcare, but as I started researching the topic, I realized two things. One – I’m an accountant not a healthcare professional and no amount of research is going to ever position me to advise a doctor or a medical practice CEO on the latest in healthcare technology – the field is simply too vast and too complicated, and understanding it requires medical education, training, experience, and a lot more. And two – I think Elon Musk may be onto something.
Imagine having a Supreme Court Justice robot using AI to “hear” an important case and rendering a decision based on algorithms that helps it scour and analyze an abundance of historical data…A professional football coach robot quickly analyzes all of the data about the players and teams on a field to predict the next play, counter-play and game outcomes before the first whistle blows….An accounting robot automatically gathering data for tax season, synthesizing it, and generating your filing so it’s in your email for signing without you or any other human doing a thing. Actually, forget that last example. Just kidding, but also not kidding considering where AI is with the release of CHAT GPT, and where it may go.
Seriously, when researching health care technology trends, my heart started racing a bit and I began to give real consideration to Elon Musk’s recent call to pause artificial intelligence (AI) development until we understand it a little more and put some governance around it. What if people start querying symptoms, increasingly use it to self-diagnose, and follow outdated or wrong information?
I have learned when reading and researching topics like this that much of the talk about technology does focus on a future state that doesn’t exist yet, but may become reality sooner than we’d think or like. Even though we’ve been hearing about the potential of AI for years, at this point it feels like perhaps the pace of its development and potential is outpacing our ability to wrap our minds around such radical transformations and their broader implications.
Still, I have an article to write about technology and healthcare. Out of intellectual curiosity, I conducted a little experience. I gave CHAT GPT, the AI technology taking the world by storm this prompt: Write an article about six technologies that are changing healthcare. See below to see the results.
Without looking at the output, I continued working on the article the old-fashioned way, and after “following the story and research” found myself landing in a different place with a different discussion.
I realized there are two types of healthcare technology – one that can fall in the bucket of impacting health and outcomes, and one that falls in the bucket of running a health care related business.
As I said earlier, out of respect for health care professionals’ education, training, knowledge, abilities, and passion, I don’t even come close to being qualified to talk about healthcare technology as it relates to actual care and outcomes. It’s mind boggling to learn about things like using 3D print technology to create hearing aids or replacement joints faster and at lower costs; AR/VR to help doctors practice procedures; or smart bandages monitoring and promoting healing. I can even wrap my mind around technologies enabling collaborations, predictive analytics, data sharing, and care equity while reducing environmental impacts. However, when research starts leading to ideas about cutting out strands of DNA and things of that nature, the discussion is clearly over my head, and one better left to the experts. Still, there is a technology discussion to be had, and it falls into the second bucket: technology developments that are reshaping the business side of healthcare.
HealthcareDive.com reports, “As 2022 drew to a close, several factors suggested that technology adoption was slowing down, including a cooled landscape for digital health funding and a drop in virtual care utilization. In addition, a flurry of cyberattacks and concerns over the privacy of sensitive medical data highlighted the hazards of new technology adoption. Despite this, experts remain upbeat about the potential of technology to improve U.S. healthcare in 2023.”
The article goes onto predict that with so many individual technology solutions in the market, health care organizations are going to prioritize tech investments and strategies to focus on basics, like patient intake, revenue management, physician enablement, care coordination, patient engagement, and data security. Concurrently, there will likely be consolidation and integration among healthcare tech providers.
HealthTechMagazine reinforces a similar thought process, with predictions that 2023 healthcare technology uptakes will largely focus on security, data analytics, and workflow automation. I even came across one story talking about “robots” walking patients to exam rooms and handling the disposal of hazardous materials so medical staff can spend time on value added activities.
Now, I have to admit, after coming to this point in the thought process, I stepped back and looked at the content generated by CHAT GPT. I was pleasantly surprised by the clarity of its writing abilities. While I think it’s accurate, I’m not sure it would add much value to you – the content is pretty basic, and I fathom to guess most people reading it wouldn’t walk away with anything new. So, for now, at least, I’m going to stick to doing my articles the old-fashioned way (even if my son is telling me I’m wrong and it’s because I don’t understand prompt engineering – that’s another discussion for another day).
Now onto simpler things, like if you need accounting, tax, audit, or financial advisory services…You can continue to count on the humans at RBT CPAs to deliver an exceptional customer experience with the highest of ethics. If you’re interested, give us a call. A human will even answer the phone!