According to the second OptumIQ Annual Survey on AI in Healthcare, healthcare executives show confidence and commitment in artificial intelligence (AI) to boost treatment.

“These results demonstrate that AI is essential to improve health care holistically,” says Dan Schumacher, Optum’s president and chief operating officer, a health services company. “It is promising to see growing confidence in and acceptance of AI by managers to make information more successful and helping the health system work better for all. Working collectively, I am optimistic that in practical, realistic measures we can improve quality, satisfaction and reduce the overall cost of health care.

Half of the respondents said their organization is investing first using technology to automate business processes, while 36 percent said they would invest in customizing clinical care recommendations, and another 36 percent said they would also invest in accelerating research for new therapeutics or clinical discoveries.

The executives said that these five areas are where AI has the best potential outside the clinical setting:

  • Automating prior authorizations (51 percent)
  • Providing individuals with relevant health action using personalized communications (47 percent)
  • Managing EHRs (45 percent)
  • Detecting fraud, waste, or abuse in reimbursement (43 percent)
  • Selecting appropriate care settings (38 percent)

More than half of the respondents (52%) anticipate AI to generate more job opportunities, while 87% believe that recruiting applicants with experience working with software is a priority for their organizations.

As for educating those already working in their company, 89 percent said they are not being educated fast enough to keep up with advancements in AI technologies and 91 percent predicted that between 10 and 50 percent of new jobs in their organisations would need work experience with AI. There is a comparable split of respondents around partnership-building approaches, training programs, partnering with consulting firms, and plan postponements.