Josh Streit

The Needle and the Damage: AI as Actionable Intelligence

Has there been a buzzier term in the history of technology than AI? More than the world wide web or even mobile computing, it’s AI that has inspired The Terminator and The Matrix. It’s AI in the form of ChatGPT which experienced the most explosive growth in the history of software (already over 100 million users). In both the examples of movies and ChatGPT, our imaginations have perhaps never been more stimulated.

With AI and healthcare, a similar opportunity as a stimulant exists toward new and innovative things, and it couldn’t get here soon enough. When talking with healthcare executives, I routinely hear of their challenges with the following confluence of unsavory circumstances:

  • Not enough staff of any kind
  • Everything is more expensive than it has ever been
  • Interest rate changes (as well as the rate of those changes) have upended corporate balance sheets, applying exquisite pressure to budgets
  • The number of patients in need of care is about to hockey stick off the graph
  • As a result of all of the above, physicians are nearly burnt to a crisp

Pulling the Needle: How AI Fills the Gap

Rather than setting the stage for our own dystopia, current events are simply the mother of every system, provider and patients’ necessity for invention. For instance, healthcare AI can be leveraged to expedite or escalate a patient’s emergent care from among the many thousands of patients being treated by the same health system on the very day of their need. This can be done between disparate departments within that system, breaking down the prior silos between radiology, emergency, surgical and/or critical care staff members.

In essence, one of our roles – our contribution – is to pull the needle which needs immediate attention from the haystack of daily cases. Of course, this isn’t a needle or even an imaging study. It’s a person. It’s someone’s child, parent, grandparent, having one of the worst of their days.

Aidoc’s Actionable Intelligence

It’s in the circumstances of hemorrhage or blockage or fracture in which Aidoc has its chance to really shine, deploying the what took 100 engineers 2+ years and tens of millions of dollars to create: real time, real world, clinical, anatomical orchestration – let’s call it actionable intelligence, pulling your loved one to the top of a physician’s queue, saying, “You better look at this one now, Doc.”

In light of the automation which can be provided, not only does the patient benefit but so does the physician. They no longer need to leverage manual, legacy workflows of telephone tag to highlight their patients’ required attention. Physicians don’t have to comb the cavernous medical record to see a relevant lab test to complement what is highlighted in their imaging. Simply put (as is highlighted in our library of clinical AI research and publications), care is rendered more quickly and outcomes improve. In other words, this is the kind of experience every one of us would want to apply to ourselves on that unfortunate, but eventual, day in which we become the patient.

If you or a loved one has ever been the patient, then you likely have already had tangible experience with the damage which can be done when one’s needs are not expedited or escalated to the best resource. Or perhaps you have received the grace associated with when medical expertise has been summoned, as if out of thin air, at the precise time in which you needed it most. In either circumstance, it’s in this way “a little part” of this phenomenon is in “everyone.”

As evidence of being more than a metaphor in homage to some of my father’s favorite music (Neil Young, Harvest 1972), University Hospital in Cleveland published this study outlining that exact occurence on pulmonary embolism patients. Here they compared the patient results when a severe pulmonary embolism patient received subspecialty consultation and when they did not. Those who received the “expert” level care (UH’s intent when they formed their PERT) fared ~40 – 50% better in terms of mortality and morbidity. This is the kind of problem we seek to solve – getting expert care to ALL those who need it, democratizing specializations across populations. In so doing (as we do for neuroscience, pulmonary, vascular, and imaging providers), Aidoc’s contribution to all of our lives is to help lessen the injury experienced in the most dire, emergent, circumstances by helping deliver, as a standard, the right patient to the right physician right now. And do it every time.

Today’s standard seems, in contrast, to be an endless parade of problems – thinly stretched staff, sicker patients and stripped budgets. In this onslaught of inflation, providers of all kinds need automation. They need help. Aidoc’s Actionable Intelligence is here to see that they get it.

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Josh Streit