AI and machine learning growing as an industry force, experts say

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Through the expansive healthcare system in the U.S., few providers are actively using artificial intelligence technology.

However, more organizations are getting ready to take advantage of the technology, says Michael Muelly, a radiologist and product manager at Google Cloud Healthcare.

By 2005, AI got a boost from rapid advances in computing technology, and that helped usher in more advanced robotics, which led to computers learning from the data itself, Muelly explained during an educational session at the Medical Group Management Association’s 2019 conference in New Orleans.

Now, machine learning, also known as machine intelligence, is coming into the industry, again via early adopters, says Josh Siegel, chief technology officer and chief clinical architect at Care Cloud, an electronic health records vendor.

“Focus your goals and learn what is machine intelligence and what is not,” he counsels. “Be aware that machine intelligence is only as smart as the data within it, so curate data well and you’ll have a much better artificial intelligence machine.”

Siegel further emphasizes considerable training of providers, administrators and other data users that are or will be using artificial intelligence and machine intelligence. He also emphasizes spending 8 percent of the time spent dealing with data to improve the quality of data and making sure everyone collecting any types of data is tagging the data and putting it in a data warehouse.

Hiring a professional who can comb through data to find the most important data elements for an organization’s initiative is also a critical step that will save considerable time and money, Siegel adds. “Machine intelligence only knows what it’s trained to do so you must train heavily on the acute care and ambulatory sides.”

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