AI is Doing More to Help Keep Doctors at the Bedside

Prompted by the release of Sense.ly’s “Molly,” a new artificial intelligence (AI)-powered avatar, a Forbes article examined “how humans and machines can work together to improve and transform” health care. Molly’s capabilities are impressive and include communicating via smartphones, picking up on emotional cues, tracking vital signs from wearable devices and alerting a doctor in emergency situation. Together, these features can “help patients with the day-to-day management of chronic illnesses or post-surgical needs.” She is representative of AI technology that is able to do increasingly more, from diagnosis to analysis to transcriptions. But what does this mean for patient care?

While acknowledging that “AI innovations [are] transforming the healthcare ecosystem today,” Forbes emphasizes the common question posed by clinicians: “How can AI augment what doctors, nurses and surgeons already do?” We also actively consider how AI can complement – not compete with –physicians’ diagnostic skills. By bringing added diagnostic capabilities to the bedside, AI and other technology, like the latest generation of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS), are helping physicians remain at the bedside, instead of being pulled away from it.

The advantages of medical technology are evident, but, as Sense.ly’s co-founder and CEO Adam Odessky said in the Forbes piece, “The whole value of human care is a special sort of relationship that a machine can’t replace... we communicate in a way that’s reassuring to patients. When you feel sick, you want to be reassured.” We share this sentiment and know this connection is a critical component of medicine that physicians bring to the beside.

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