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AI Moves Into Homes and Hospitals As New Modalities Emerge

Use of artificial intelligence (AI) by hospitals is now hitting its stride after a long ramp-up as more systems and facilities sink serious dollars and effort into connected healthcare.

On Monday (Nov. 1), the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Brigham and Women’s Hospital announced the opening of the Massachusetts AI and Technology Center for Connected Care in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease (MassAITC), seeking breakthroughs in home care.

Funded in part by a $20 million grant from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), MassAITC’s stated mission is to advance in-home connected care as “90% of older Americans would prefer to stay in their homes as they age,” but with Alzheimer’s presenting daunting challenges.

“While at-home health care technologies hold significant promise, they have not been specifically developed for older adults or Alzheimer’s patients, caregivers and their clinicians. Further, many current treatment and intervention regimes are limited in terms of their ability to be remotely delivered, managed and adapted to patient needs and caregiver abilities.”

Adapting to consumers’ developing digital health preferences is becoming a prime differentiator for providers. AI has use cases running the gamut from treatments to payments, and is seen as a transformative technology in areas like patient experience.

According to PYMNTS Connected Healthcare Report, done in collaboration with Rectangle Health, “Today’s healthcare consumer is discerning, demanding simplified payments, rapid and secure interactions with service providers and reliable data privacy. Our research shows that today’s healthcare consumer is motivated to choose a provider not only based on their need for high-quality care but also a desire for a stellar customer experience.”

Get the study: The Connected Healthcare Report

Healthcare Systems See AI and Data Delivering Better Outcomes

Technologies like AI and cloud computing are being tapped for unique potential to vastly improve the growing connected home healthcare field, where efforts are still in early phases.

“It’s a difficult problem to develop AI-enhanced sensing technologies that work for people where they are,” said MassAITC Co-lead Deepak Ganesan, professor at UMass Amherst’s Robert and Donna Manning College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS). “How do you get good, useful data? How do you analyze this data and present it to the patient, caregiver and clinician? And then how can you intervene in a timely manner when a problem develops?”

In October, healthcare AI company said it is now collaborating with the University of Minnesota Medical School to improve diagnostics.

In a statement, Dr. Kevin A. Peterson, chief medical officer of, said “By working with the U of M medical students, we have the opportunity to test our AI approach against textbook medical school cases. The students also have the opportunity to challenge their knowledge against the AI engine, furthering their understanding of primary care diagnostic assessments and providing an opportunity to support doctors” to improve clinical evaluations.

As PYMNTS reported Nov. 2, “Telemedicine, and telehealth more broadly, have soared in the wake of the pandemic, and according to PYMNTS, patient adoption has increased from below 40% prior to the start of the crisis to over 60% of patients seeking digital doctor visits today.”

Read also: Digital Health Startups Making Major Moves Across the UK, Europe and Africa

Connected Care From Bedside to Bedroom

Developing AI’s brain power to take on more of the at-home healthcare burden is a prime focus of healthcare systems, universities and technology firms as the pandemic forced adaptation.

Also in October, Manhattan’s The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai launched its new Department of Artificial Intelligence and Human Health.

Calling it “the first department of its kind within a medical school in the United States,” Dr. Thomas Fuchs, Dean for Artificial Intelligence and Human Health, said in a statement that goal of the Department for AI and Human Health “is to impact patients’ health with AI.”

“We will accomplish this by building AI systems at scale from data representing Mount Sinai’s diverse patient population. These systems will work seamlessly across all hospitals and care units to support physicians, foster research, and most importantly help patients’ care and well-being,” he said.

Other recent efforts along these lines include Amazon’s late October announcement that it’s adapting its Alexa system to bring connected voice capabilities to assisted living facilities and hospitals, enabling easier direct communications between patients, loved ones and staff.

Read also: Amazon Teams with Hospitals, Assisted Living Centers to Boost Productivity

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