Healthcare Costs That AI Drastically Reduces


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The last three decades have seen an intense focus on public policy in an effort to lower the cost of healthcare. In the United States, that debate has played out most obviously with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, one of the most polarizing pieces of legislation in history. While the debate continues, new technology is now playing a greater role in finding opportunities to control the rate of healthcare inflation and keep it from overwhelming the overall economy. This technology is becoming even more significant with rapidly maturing models around artificial intelligence (AI), which can help streamline the administration of healthcare and produce improved clinical outcomes. In fact, it’s already starting to happen. As consulting firm Accenture puts it, AI in healthcare can do more: “Simply using AI to make an organization run faster and cheaper is limiting its impact. Instead, AI can become an agent of change, transforming not just how organizations do work—but also what they actually do.” Can artificial intelligence reduce healthcare costs?

The Impact of AI on Healthcare

The question of, “Will artificial intelligence reduce healthcare costs?” is already being answered. Machine-learning techniques are widely applied in healthcare, just in places where patients can’t usually see them. These applications address the administrative costs of healthcare.

One of the most costly errors in today’s healthcare system involves the use of incorrect diagnostic codes. Bad codes cause a range of cascading problems. They interrupt the process of giving approvals for care, delay reimbursement, and otherwise lead to redundant work. Studies show that the overall cost of waste in healthcare administration is greater than $200 billion.

This is an area where institutions are currently exploring AI as a streamlined solution. According to Health IT Analytics, “natural language processing and machine learning are well-suited to translating free-text notes into standardized codes, which can move the task off the plates of physicians and reduce the time and effort spent on complying with convoluted regulations.”

The powerful nature of AI lies in its ability to ingest large quantities of data and quickly examine it for patterns that can then be translated into action in treatment rooms. These datasets are too large for humans to do this type of analysis.

In an article in VentureBeat that explores the evolution of AI, Dr. Robert Pearl of Stanford University cites a project involving researchers for the Permanente Medical Group Division of Research. The project created a model based on the analysis of 650,000 hospitalized patients that could help identify which patients were at risk of having to spend time in an ICU. By reducing the incidents of re-hospitalization, the model could save money and lives.

Many in healthcare believe that the next threshold for AI will be providing improvements in the delivery of care.

Can Artificial Intelligence Reduce Healthcare Costs?

According to the federal Center for Medicaid Services, the lion’s share of healthcare costs fall into three buckets: hospital care, physician/clinical services, and prescription drugs. Efforts are underway to demonstrate the power of AI to lower costs in all three categories.

Here are a few examples of how artificial intelligence reduces healthcare costs:

  • Citing a study in the Annals of Translational Medicine, Healthcare Finance News highlights the potential for AI to have a significant impact in joint replacement surgeries. The study looked at the use of an AI application that created customized pre-surgery information, including recommendations on nutrition, physical therapy, anxiety reduction, and other areas. Among the cost reductions, hospital stays were shortened by 25%.
  • VentureBeat, quoting Dr. Pearl of Stanford, suggests that AI has promise in improving cancer care. By exploring treatment and outcome patterns in a large number of patients, AI can suggest treatments that are more targeted to an individual’s specific situation.
  • Researchers in Florida are seeing promise in the use of machine-learning algorithms as a way of selecting medications that will work within a patient’s budget. Cookie-cutter prescribing, without regard to cost, tends to result in patient non-compliance, which causes return doctor or hospital visits.

Reducing Long-Term Acute Care Costs with Oxitone

The potential for AI to have an impact on the delivery of care is reaching into the home in the form of wrist-wearable medical devices, such as those made by Oxitone, which allow for around-the-clock, continuous remote patient monitoring.

Cleared by the Federal Drug Administration, the company’s Oxitone 1000M is a hospital-grade device that feeds data to healthcare teams in real time. Captured data ranges from hypoxia index and sleep data to heart rate variability, skin temperature, sleep apnea, and respiratory rate.

In general, having data in real time provides doctors with a powerful tool for managing issues arising from chronic long-term conditions such as COPD and congenital heart failure. COPD in particular is a grave concern in healthcare, as it is rising quickly on the list of the most common causes of death.

Continuous remote monitoring of COPD patients, according to one study, lowered costs of treatment by 14%. The idea is that the devices help measure, store, and transmit information about the severity of COPD symptoms, such as breathlessness, coughing, wheezing, body temperature, to identify problems before they become emergencies.

Studies also point to the positive impact of telecommunications on reducing costs in the treatment of congestive heart failure, again by monitoring patient data and issuing early warning signs before patients require costly emergency care.

These are among the use cases for the Oxitone 1000M and point to the potential for the device to significantly impact the quality of care and reduce the cost of chronic healthcare treatment.

Having the data is the first step. The device can be made more powerful with the integration of medical intelligence as a way of predicting the onset of problems. This analysis effectively provides care teams with decision-making support, while providing patients with peace of mind, knowing that they are under the watchful eyes of clinicians.

Does Artificial Intelligence Reduce Healthcare Costs? Yes!

The ability to interpret data at scale and use the lessons that it teaches to provide improved care at reduced costs is the next phase of the transformation of healthcare. Oxitone is focused on developing comfortable, easy-to-wear devices that can integrate with AI, producing actionable insights and more personalized care.

Here at Oxitone, we boost value-based healthcare by delivering extraordinary patient, clinical, and economical outcomes at reduced medical utilization and cost. Patients need a prompt response to emergencies. Physicians need an easy and timely follow-up with patients. Our mission is to transform chronic disease management and help save lives worldwide.

Let’s save lives together! To see how we help remote patient monitoring companies and physicians improve the management and care of high-risk patients, contact us today!

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