Can AI drive Affordability in Healthcare?

AI drive

In healthcare, Artificial Intelligence should be seen as Augmented Intelligence, and going forward this technology is going to help the segment was the core submission of the top thought leaders of the healthcare industry, who addressed the topic – Can AI drive Affordability in Healthcare? at the second day of the 10th edition of the Healthcare Leaders Forum.


The panel discussion comprised eminent panelist Rajiv Sikka, CIO, Medanta Medicity, Dr. Venkat Ramana Sudigali, Director & CEO, Excell Hospitals, Viloo Williams, CIO Head & Digital Transformation, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, Shuvankar Pramanick, CIO, Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Limited and Prakash S Kamat, Chairman & Managing Director, Softlink International.Rajiv Sikka

Moderated by Rajiv Sikka, CIO, Medanta Medicity each member in the panel expounded how AI drives affordability in healthcare.

Initiating the discussion Sikka asked why there is so much noise about AI, like any other technology AI helps humans to enhance in two dimensions one is precision and the other is accuracy. AI solutions are already in the marketplace it is already present in finance, education, fraud detection and now we are here to understand where it is present in the healthcare industry.


Shuvankar Pramanick

Conveying his thoughts on the panel topic, Shuvankar Pramanick, CIO, Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Limited, said, “AI in healthcare space is used more in clinical application imaging, diagnostics, workflow optimization in hospitals. Many believe that AI is going to have exponential growth in the healthcare sector. The healthcare domain has already introduced AI in research to live coaching for personnel care. Many hospitals have developed introduced diagnostic assistance using AI. Lots of work is going on the software service side as well.”Dr. Venkat Ramana Sudigali

Informing that only doctor among the panel of technologist, Dr. Venkat Ramana Sudigali, Director & CEO, Excell Hospitals Sudigali, said, “AI is going to revolutionize the healthcare in what way, when and how we adapt is the question. AI concept is going on 20 to 30 years in many countries but it is the practical implication as been realized in past one decade. Instead of calling it Artificial Intelligence (AI) let’s call it Augmented Intelligence. Being a radiologist I report scans day in and day out and I’m beginning to use AI it is quick, accurate.”Prakash S Kamat

Taking the discussion further, Prakash S Kamat, Chairman & Managing Director, Softlink International said, “Learnt AI as a subject 35 years ago but the practical implementation of it as started in last five to seven years. The development of AI was in the field of scans, brain MRIs it took a while for the technology to develop it helps in complex cases and picks up peculiarities that are likely skipped by the human eye. AI can supplement and help countries like us which has less doctors and specialists with a 1.3 billion population and challenges of geographical location and infrastructure. Our challenges are unique AI can bridge those gaps.

Informing that AI will exist in the healthcare industry, Sikka asked the panelists why it is taking time for the sector to adopt it.

Taking up that question Dr. Sudigali said, “Everybody talks about AI but as clinicians how much really we want and how can it help our patients that must be the primary aim. All this technology should not increase the cost but decrease cost. A collective approach is needed. Such technology is expensive, the technologists and CIOs should convince the clinicians about better outcomes and reduce the cost for patients and the hospitals. As providers, we cannot bill a patient on AI. A patient will accept only when we demonstrate that this is going to benefit clinical and monetarily.”

Putting up one more question to the panel Sikka asked, “With so many constraints and issues how the government or regulatory bodies can help us create an ecosystem or policy framework, what should be the goals that help us to push AI for the betterment of patient care?

Noting that it’s a significant question, Pramanick said, “One needs to understand the actual challenges we are facing — informed consent to use ie how clinicians are communicating to patients about the AI. Clinicians should know how to balance the privacy of the patient data and safety transparency also needs to be taken care of. Building the AI workforce is much needed. Recently, the US government came out with some guidelines for AI which focused on public trust. India should start thinking on those lines.”Viloo Williams

Answering the question what are the typical use cases which you have implemented or planning to roll out in AI, Viloo Williams, CIO Head & Digital Transformation, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, said, “There are endless use cases for hospitals where AI can actually help. Hospitals are also like many others is in various stages of bringing in AI. We have not really implemented any use cases in totality as of now but there is a lot of work in progress. AI can be used in multiple ways. Clinically what is important AI helps in better clinical outcomes in addition to that bring in analysis so doctors and the medical fraternity will be really benefitted. AI is only successful in healthcare if it is built not by IT technologists but by the medical fraternity. When we talk about specific used cases one is critical care the most important one wherein you want to bring better clinical outcomes for the patient. The most important example the diagnosis of sepsis in ICU or Emergency Medical Services (EMS), where AI can be a great use case. AI in healthcare should be termed as augmented analytics.”

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