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Covid-19 Impact on the next Phase of Healthcare IT

From telemedicine to artificial intelligence, the COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the relevance of various types of information technology. As a result, there are a lot of potential for health IT companies. From 2020 to October 2021, Crunchbase forecasts that Healthcare technology startups raised a record-breaking $36.6 billion globally. That large sum of money presents a plethora of options for innovation in 2022 and beyond.

While sophisticated AI applications in Healthcare show great promise, we presently lack the large quantities and granularity of data required to go beyond very simple algorithms and truly enhance outcomes. AI, at its most basic level, is the process of teaching machines to behave like humans, automating chores like coding claims and organising appointments. AI is most widely employed in today to automate processes like contact centre routing and appointment booking.

Chatbots powered by AI are a good example: they’re glorified decision-tree frameworks in a chat window, with material that’s pretty dissimilar to the automated computer-voice decision tree we encounter when phoning huge firms or government organisations. There are at least two reasons why we don’t have the data sets we need to realise AI’s potential in Healthcare. To begin with, much of our Healthcare data is separated into silos across providers’ offices, health insurers, laboratories, and other locations.

Patients’ data is collected in each location, but the data sets do not communicate with one another. Second, outside of Healthcare settings, where people live, work, and play, there is a lot that effects their health. Today, there is a big drive to incorporate social determinants of health data into these larger datasets, but the data is either not gathered or is too generic to be meaningful.

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