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The computer will see you now: Artificial Intelligence usage grows at Central Florida hospitals

Caroline Catherman, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Science & Technology News

It’s also used in limited scope to solve specific problems and provide a safety net. For instance, AdventHealth integrated AI into its imaging department in 2020 to flag early signs of potential strokes. The system has X-rays with AI that screen for osteoporosis.

AI also monitors patient vitals and alerts providers for signs of sepsis, a potentially deadly immune response and a leading cause of U.S. hospital deaths.

“Most of the things that we have incorporated here at AdventHealth are on the early recognition side of things, not yet [treatment or diagnosis], but I think that’s the future,” Herrera said.

At Orlando Health, AI helps identify candidates for its hospital-at-home program. It’s for people who need hospital-level care but are independent and stable enough to live at home with daily visits and remote monitoring.

AI also helps remotely monitor these patients’ vitals and alerts nurses – who watch these patients 24/7 at a patient care hub – when a patient may be in trouble.

“Could you do [hospital at home] without AI? Probably could, but I think you might not quite get the same scope and traction,” said Dr. Siddharaj Shah, senior medical director for Orlando Health’s hospital care at home program.

 

At both AdventHealth and Orlando Health, alerts are ultimately reviewed by medical professionals who can choose to agree or disagree with the AI’s conclusion.

“I think [replacement of human decision makers] is probably well in the future, if ever,” Shah said.

Safeguards are needed

Mary Mayhew, president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association, said AI is reducing burnout by shrinking administrative busy work. She hopes for a future where AI can do even more. But, she added, appropriate safeguards need to remain in place.

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