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7 ways AI can help improve the rural healthcare experience

Apr 25, 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the healthcare industry, and rural healthcare providers are no exception.

Across every industry, AI is being used to significantly improve how organizations communicate with customers, improve operations and streamline tasks. It’s also making products and services more accessible and, in some cases, more affordable to a broader group of prospective customers.

It may feel daunting to consider how your healthcare organization can bring AI into its patient experience strategy. But patients from every walk of life are already being exposed to artificially intelligent technology to personalize experiences and make their digital lives easier every day.

Being willing to ask the hard questions about how your organization approaches AI can help you improve patient experience in the long term.

Examples of artificial intelligence in healthcare

Here are seven examples of how AI is already being used to improve healthcare experiences today:

  1. Virtual care: AI-powered virtual care platforms allow patients to connect with healthcare providers remotely, from the comfort of their own homes. For rural patients, virtual care can be a lifesaver, since traveling to and from a doctor’s office or hospital can present a major challenge.
  2. Remote patient monitoring: AI-powered remote patient monitoring devices can alert patients to changes in key vital signs and notify healthcare providers if and when concerning trends are identified, preventing potential problems before they become serious.
  3. Health education: AI-powered health education tools can help rural patients learn about their health conditions and how to manage them. These tools make important information readily available by giving patients convenient access online or through mobile apps. And as generative AI tools become more prevalent, organizations will be able to use these systems to build their own patient education programs that appeal directly to their rural populations.
  4. Automated administrative tasks: AI can automate a variety of administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments, processing insurance claims and managing patient records. This frees up healthcare providers to spend more time on patients and provide them with the care they need.
  5. Improved clinical decision-making: AI can be used to analyze large amounts of data to help healthcare providers make better clinical decisions. This can lead to improved patient outcomes and reduced costs.
  6. Personalized care: AI can help personalize care for each individual patient. This helps patients get the care they need, when they need it and in the way that works best for them.
  7. Robust chat tools: AI is being used today in every industry to create extremely robust online chat experiences that meet a variety of needs. In healthcare, it can assist with everything from answering basic questions and recommending personalized treatment options to fulfilling patient requests for refilling prescriptions or scheduling appointments. Generative AI tools that rely on large language models are becoming even more powerful at detecting intent signals and responding in real time to requests of all kinds.

One common thread among these examples is that they touch on the issues every healthcare organization faces daily. Advancements in AI, machine learning and predictive analytics now make it possible to deploy technology to solve these issues more accurately and more rapidly than ever before.

The future of AI in healthcare

As AI continues to develop, it’s clear that it has the potential to transform the rural healthcare experience. By improving access to care, reducing costs and improving patient outcomes, AI can help make healthcare more affordable and accessible for patients, regardless of where they live. And today’s patients expect AI improve their healthcare experience:

  • 57% of consumers are open to remote monitoring of ongoing health issues through at home devices.
  • 61% of patients expect to use AI to book appointments, access their health records and receive reminders for their medication schedules.
  • 55% of patients say that AI will make healthcare better.
  • 40% of Americans believe AI will reduce mistakes made in healthcare, compared to 27% who think AI will lead to more mistakes.

By meeting the needs of patients, AI has the potential to revolutionize the healthcare industry and make care more affordable, accessible and effective for everyone.

How Wipfli can help

Let Wipfli offer guidance on the right tech strategy for your organization. We can help your healthcare organization overcome its challenges in areas including data and analytics, telehealth and cybersecurity. Contact us to discover how we can help provide you with the proven solutions you need.

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Billy Collins
Senior Manager
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