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A growing number of physicians are overcoming the barriers of time and space to deliver the right care to patients when they need it, without patients ever having to leave the comfort of their own homes. Read this collection of some of the best year’s best news stories that dig deeper into telemedicine and telehealth trends.
Growth in telehealth is being fueled by nonhospital-based health care providers, with urban areas outpacing rural regions although explosive expansion of services was seen in both sectors, according to a recent analysis of insurance claims data on telehealth trends.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning practitioners have been hard at work in the healthcare domain for some time. Not only are AI tools and algorithms paving the way for clinical-based medicine to be practiced at scale, they’ve made it possible for companies like Dialogue to innovate telemedicine as an indispensable workplace health benefit.
One of the earliest uses of artificial intelligence in healthcare involved speech recognition for medical transcription purposes. Since then, however, opportunities for applying AI technologies have cropped up in a variety of niche areas.
“There’s been a lot of success with machine learning in the medical imaging space, for example,” says Dialogue’s CTO Alexis Smirnov. “And this has led to some tremendous advances in the analysis of physical scans like mammograms. But it’s AI’s potential in telemedicine that we find especially exciting.”
Telemedicine was developed many years ago as an alternative modality for diagnosing and treating patients with the help of telecommunications technology. While it’s become quite mainstream in places like the US, Smirnov notes that most telehealth services are still being conducted without the benefit of artificial intelligence.
“If all you do is have a physician speak to a patient over the phone or video, there isn’t much opportunity for automation. In the last few years, however, large operators have begun to recognize that, in order to continue scaling their services, they need to apply automation to certain aspects of telemedicine.”
With its proven ability to speed up and streamline the patient care journey, AI-enhanced telemedicine has the capacity to drive down the cost of providing quality healthcare at scale. And in that sense, says Smirnov, companies like Dialogue – while still in the minority – are emerging as leading innovators of the telemedicine industry.