Healthcare executives expect that within the next three years their industry will need to focus as much on training machines as they do on training people, according to a new report from outsourcing and consulting firm Accenture.
The report, Accenture Healthcare Technology Vision 2015, is based on a survey of 601 doctors, 1,000 consumers and 101 healthcare executives and highlights emerging technology trends that will affect the industry in the next three to five years.
A majority of the health executives surveyed (84 percent) agree or strongly agree that their industry will need to focus as much on training machines, such as using algorithms, intelligent software and machine learning, as they do on training people in the next three years. Most agree that provider organizations, driven by a surge in clinical data, will soon need to manage intelligent machines as well as employees.
“As the digital revolution gains momentum, doctors and clinicians will use machines to augment human labor, personalize care and manage more complex tasks,” Kaveh Safavi, who leads Accenture’s health business, said in a statement. “The digital revolution is also creating a data goldmine that can spark medical breakthroughs and improve individualized treatment plans.”
Intelligent machines will also support the surge in health data from various sources such as diagnostic tests, Internet-connected devices, genomics and medical records, the study says. According to the survey, 41 percent of health executives said their data volume grew more than 50 percent last year. This data explosion, accompanied by advances in processing power, analytics and cognitive technology, is fueling smarter software that makes it easier to turn big data into better decisions and better healthcare.
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