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Five conclusions from AI and the Future of Care Work

The report is published, the feedback positive, observations strike a chord.  Necessity will drive AI usage in care work across all five care types (healthcare, home health care, home care, senior living, and Skilled Nursing Facilities). Issues of worker shortage, staff burnout, or migration of care work into the home will result in broader deployment of AI technology (whether explicitly or inside other software tools). And regulatory initiatives will help overcome trust issues for consumers. Over the next few years, care organizations will make more disciplined use of their own data that an AI technology such as a chatbot can access or present to a caregiver. The changes that are most likely within the next five years? See today-future comparison chart below and check out the report here

The care continuum will become a data-driven reality for just-right care.  Rather than force a patient to carry their records from care location to location, the standardization and exchange of electronic medical records will see a boost from the use of AI software tools. Senior housing providers, including nursing homes, will incorporate AI to learn about the care recipient before their arrival – helping them to assemble a profile that can support the delivery of just-right care. And they will use AI technology to manage and compare overall community performance.

Population health will transform into a population of one. The term ‘population health’ evolved over many years to encompass all population groups and all factors that influence health outcomes. In the next five years, the only population that matters in predicting specific outcomes will be the population of one, the care consumer. The benefits will depend on AI tools that combine standardized medical records, unstructured text interactions, and multiple data sources that can be combined into a health profile.

Avatars are emerging built on health protocols and voluminous data sets.  An avatar, or a computer-generated representation of a responder to a request, such as customer service provider, can be used to enable meaningful healthcare interactions for a patient or portal user, for example. Behind a well-trained avatar, there can be a wealth of information to drive the interaction – enabling empathetic responses in multiple languages.

Medicare Advantage consumers will increasingly expect a smooth digital experience. Unlike financial industry customers, health plan customers have had low expectations. Only a quarter of those in a recent survey expected a well-functioning website that answered their questions about benefits or permitted updating personal information. But as with all business services, that is likely to change over the next few years, as conversational AI and chatbots become incorporated into the user experience and extend beyond seniors and their caregivers to include their adult children and grandchildren.

Payors will reimburse to keep people well. As Medicare Advantage penetration expands beyond 51%, the plans’ offerings will begin to focus on ways to keep consumers healthy, or at least healthier over time. To do so, these plans will depend on data collected from a variety of sources and analyzed with AI tools. Over the next five years, those data sources will help reward healthcare providers based on ‘Value-based payments’ such as containing the cost of care per individual patient, may realize its potential.


Today’s Care use of tech and AI

Future Care use of tech and AI

Patient data is locked within care silos, communicated with difficulty

AI tools will enable patient data to span care continuum boundaries

Senior housing operators begin ramp up of data use

Senior housing operators will optimize offerings based on data

One size chatbots becoming ubiquitous

Chatbots initiate topical conversations based on the user

Avatars barely in use

Avatars will increasingly be used to offer health-related guidance

Insurers are largely unaware of patients’ digital lives outside portal

Insurers will use AI to personalize the user experience in portals

Insurance pays for services

Insurance pays to keep people well

Remote monitoring detects events

Remote monitoring detects patterns

Limited broadband access for seniors

Ubiquitous broadband across all settings

Consumers are concerned about AI trustworthiness

Regulatory efforts will help boost consumer trust in AI