From Rachel RobbinsSenior Vice President at Greenough Brand Storytellers

Use of artificial intelligence in healthcare continues to gain momentum

A new study from Optum finds that healthcare organizations’ confidence and investment in AI remains high. According to the study, the number of respondents who said their organizations have an AI strategy in place rose 88% year over year. The potential for AI in healthcare continues to soar. A separate study published by The Lancet Digital Health found that AI can detect diseases from medical imaging with the same accuracy as healthcare professionals. It’s no wonder that nine in 10 healthcare executives surveyed by Optum felt confident they’ll see an ROI sooner than previously expected.

 

Medical robots taking over: in the hospital, at home and on the battlefield

Digital Health firm Diligent Robotics recently announced it raised $3 million in a seed funding round for its AI healthcare assistant, Moxi, a robot that can help physicians and nurses gather and distribute supplies, lab samples and dirty laundry. Diligent will soon begin deploying Moxi following pilot trials at a number of hospitals. Pfizer also announced the launch of a pilot program with Catalia Health to assess patient behavior when interacting with the AI-powered home robot, Mabu, which is designed to coach patients on health and prescription drugs and supply information back to medical professionals to inform them about their patients’ medication adherence. The U.S. Army is also seeing the benefits of medical robots, announcing it will begin using medical drones to aid medics in the field by bringing medical supplies, blood and products to care for wounded soldiers.

 

Amazon pushes deeper into telemedicine with launch of virtual medical clinic for employees

Through its new virtual health clinic, Amazon Care, Amazon will provide its employees with faster access to healthcare, on-demand. Amazon Care is a pilot program for employees in the Seattle area that combines telemedicine with in-person services to support diagnosis, treatment and referrals. Amazon will also prescribe medications via Amazon Care within a few hours or offer a way for employees to pick them up at a preferred pharmacy. This is certainly one to watch, particularly if Amazon expands the offering beyond its employees.

 

Medical devices and consumer electronics continue to converge

According to new research from Business Insider Intelligence, the use of wearable technology has more than tripled in the last four years, as consumers continue to take control of their own health. Wearable fitness trackers, smart health watches and wearable ECG and blood press monitors continue to surge, influencing healthcare decisionmakers to take a closer look at the benefits of wearable healthcare technology. In fact, the research found that doctors could save 15 hours per week if their patients use wearable technology. Smart hearing aids are the latest example of lines blurring between medical devices and consumer electronics. These hearing aids amplify sounds for the user and reduce background noise, while also taking phone calls, streaming music, tracking physical activity and even turning on a Bluetooth-connected coffeepot.