Caught between an aging, more diverse population and increasing costs, the healthcare sector is ripe for disruption. Despite significant investments in care, the U.S. has seen only modest gains in health outcomes and continues to trail much of the industrialized world in a number of important rankings.
As a provider, payer, researcher and regulator, the federal government has a central role to play in this transformation. Specifically, federal agencies are often best positioned to address many of the fundamental challenges that the nation’s healthcare system faces:
We believe that Artificial Intelligence (AI), when combined with existing healthcare data, can be a catalyst for transforming the healthcare system. At the macro-level, it can facilitate the shift towards a more evidence-based system that recognizes the most effective approaches and organizations. AI can also facilitate more patient-centric care through innovations that allow for more individualized and targeted treatments. And through the use of automation for tasks large and small, AI can reduce underlying costs while improving process quality and data accuracy.
Helping the federal government tap into AI’s potential was the focus of NextGov’s recent Healthcare 2030: The Future of Intelligent Healthcare conference, which was underwritten by Accenture. We were fortunate to be joined by a number of federal health leaders, including Dr. Don Rucker, MD, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology; Dr. June Lee, MD, chair of NIH’s AI Interest Group; Dr. Ryan Vega, MD, Executive Director (acting) for VHA’s Innovation Ecosystem; and Dr. Jean Vettel, PhD, with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory. Providing additional perspective were Cong. Pete Olson (R-TX), cofounder of the House AI Caucus; and Dr. Richard Satava, MD of the University of Washington Medical Center.
Dr. Kaveh Safavi, MD, Accenture’s global healthcare lead, provided one of the keynote addresses. Citing our research on the potential for AI healthcare applications to create $150B in annual savings in the U.S. alone, he argued the current model is unstainable without this additional innovation:
In our view, what makes AI so promising for the healthcare market is its ability to drive improved outcomes, cost savings and a better patient experience in concert with one another.