Artificial intelligence (AI) has been on the mind of healthcare professionals in terms of job automation, but what about its impact on patient care? AI helps ODs see more patients, increases efficiency and accuracy, and can improve disease prevention over time.
Most optometry practice roles and responsibilities are too nuanced to be automated, but the parts of the job that can benefit from AI might intrigue ODs and their staff. Also, the presence of AI technology encourages optometrists to innovate their methods.
Let's look at the positive ways AI could affect eyecare.
Promoting AI Changes to Your Staff and Patients
The most obvious effect of AI technology is its ability to take big data sets and cross-reference them to show patterns and predict outcomes within seconds. This is especially helpful for eyecare because it can predict congenital blindness with DNA processing, map macular degeneration progression through your EHR data, and provide insight that would take years of medical research and the second opinion of other professionals.
On top of reaching diagnoses more quickly in the exam lane, AI can also provide more robust patient education. Your patients would certainly be interested to receive deeper insight into how social factors like environmental disasters, socioeconomic status, or diet would affect their eye health. AI can connect these disparate datasets to recommend lifestyle changes for your patients' unique background. These programs can also show patients a 3D model of their eyes during their exam.
Using software and tools in your practice that incorporate AI and smart automation into your patient recall, scheduling, exam lane, and intake process will contribute to your patient experience. Fewer no-shows due to effective patient recall and reminders, quicker diagnoses with treatment code mapping, and less administrative work for your staff are just the beginning.
Future AI technology can also tell you which hours your practice is making the most profit, which products are driving down your debt ratio, what time of day more patients are likely to purchase, and future purchasing trends of your patients.
Want your colleague's opinion on how AI will shift the optical industry? Read our interviews in 2020 Outlook: Advice from America's Top ODs II