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How Diagnostic AI is Ushering in the New Era of Healthcare

The healthcare industry constantly changes and iterates to keep up with the times, and I’ve had the unique opportunity to observe those changes. I started my career on the front lines of digitizing records, arguably one of the biggest industrywide shifts of the last few decades. Now we are once again faced with a huge industry shift as digital healthcare and artificial intelligence are integrating into practice. This shift will be monumental and unlike anything we have ever seen. I feel fortunate to lead a company that is paving the path for AI diagnostics and is dedicated to transforming the accessibility, affordability, equity, and quality of healthcare using technology.

While AI is already making a difference in healthcare, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges that have been overcome and those that still need to be addressed for healthcare AI to have the greatest impact. Some of the challenges I’ve witnessed in working to bring AI diagnosis to the current healthcare industry include barriers to care and lack of access for patients, speed-to-market challenges for AI creators, and regulation and payment considerations, which can affect everything from the technology design to commercial deployment, to continued investment. I’m proud of how far we have come as a company and an industry, but there is still so much more we can do to aid and support the adoption of healthcare AI that positively impacts patient lives and provider workflows.

diagnostic AI

How Moving AI into Clinical Workflow at the Point-of-Care Can Transform Healthcare

When I look at the future of AI in healthcare, I see the greatest chance for transformation when we focus our efforts on the areas where there is a true need so AI technology can have the greatest impact. The team at Digital Diagnostics uses the term “impact AI” as a descriptor for AI solutions that use technology as the vehicle to solve the very real problems that exist in healthcare, such as lack of access, delayed diagnosis, and physician burnout.

A clear example of this is the potential to move specialty diagnosis to handheld devices, which can increase workflow flexibility and help create a system with a greater overall reach. This can enable front-line care physicians to perform tasks, such as diagnoses, that were previously only available in specialty care. Bringing AI diagnostic services to the point-of-care can also help close care gaps for providers and increase the number of patient services provided. It’s not only beneficial for providers as it also allows for more convenient and affordable diagnostic services for a large portion of the population that may not have access to specialty care. The more we streamline AI offerings by enabling AI diagnostic services on multiple modalities, the better we will be at meeting the patients where they are.

The more we can help patients omit or reduce costly, time-consuming visits to specialists while also reducing physician burden and allowing specialists to practice top of license, the faster these products can be adopted into practice.

The Potential for AI to Improve Physician Burnout and Patient Outcomes

Physician burnout is nothing new, but the potential for AI systems to help improve that burnout has risen significantly in the last few years. Using AI to automate the routine, time-consuming tasks that keep physicians overburdened can help them have more time to focus on and care for their patients. This in turn improves patient outcomes, which is the ultimate goal.

As AI continues to be integrated into patient care and more AI solutions are made accessible to a greater number of people, we can see the immense potential of AI to help streamline care delivery and simplify patient’s healthcare journey. A great example of where AI is already making a difference in disease detection using AI and digital imaging.

Digital imaging is a powerful tool that can capture high-quality images which help facilitate accurate diagnoses when paired with highly validated AI diagnostic systems. This can lead to better disease detection, and improve patient care, access, and outcomes. The benefits of early disease detection and diagnosis are well known, and include things such as early treatment options, more effective treatment, longer survival, etc. One clear example of this is diabetic retinopathy (DR), where we know that the symptoms of DR, such as vision loss and blindness, can be mitigated or even prevented with early diagnosis. AI technology such as LumineticsCore™ (formerly IDx-DR), is actively being used to bring early DR diagnosis to the point of care.

I would be remiss to not elaborate on the idea of highly validated AI systems, which I mentioned earlier. For healthcare AI solutions to have the greatest impact we have to understand the need for AI developers to prioritize rigorous validation and a solid foundation in ethics. It’s not just about developing cool technology, it’s about focusing on design, validation, and implementation that is rooted in ethics. Focusing on patient benefit is what allows us to design and validate AI with confidence, knowing our foundation is solid.

Final Thoughts

Diagnostic AI is well on its way to becoming a mainstay in patient care and it’s our responsibility to make sure this new era of healthcare is one that puts patients first. We need to collectively understand that healthcare is an industry centered on humans helping humans as we leverage technology to that end. I’ve had a front-row seat to the creation of the AI diagnostic industry in healthcare and how AI is influencing patient care. That experience has shown me that it is more important than ever to make sure that AI is designed with the broadest possible impact in mind to be a positive force in the industry.

Be sure to check out our episode with Digital Diagnostic Co-Founder & President Seth Rainford.


This article was sponsored by Digital Diagnostics Inc.

About the Author

John Bertrand is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Digital Diagnostics and brings over a decade of healthcare technology experience to Digital Diagnostics, previously holding a variety of executive roles at Epic Systems. During his 12-year career with Epic, Bertrand led cross-functional teams in a variety of product, customer success, and business development roles with a focus on growth.

Most recently Bertrand served as Executive in Residence at 8VC, a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm focused on healthcare technology. His time in this space focused on the application of artificial intelligence and computer vision in healthcare.

About Digital Diagnostics Inc.

Digital Diagnostics Inc. is a pioneering AI diagnostics company on a mission to transform the quality, accessibility, equity, and affordability of global health care through the application of technology in the medical diagnosis and treatment process. The company, originally founded by Michael D. Abramoff, MD, PhD, a neuroscientist, practicing fellowship-trained retina specialist, and computer engineer, is led by him and co-founders John Bertrand (CEO) and Seth Rainford (President).

Digital Diagnostics is paving the way for autonomous and assistive AI technology that is free of bias to become a new standard of care, contributing to democratizing health care and closing care gaps. The company works closely with patient advocacy groups, provider organizations, regulators, and other quality-of-care and ethics-focused stakeholders to enable the adoption of healthcare AI. For more information and the latest news follow:


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