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The future of healthcare: a patient journey powered by AI
By Vishnu Baby Kumar, Anjali Rajan  |  Feb 07, 2024
The future of healthcare: a patient journey powered by AI
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AI is transforming patient healthcare at each step in a hospital journey, and will be an indispensable tool in all phases of future treatments. Biomed engineer and med-tech innovator Anjali Rajan, and epidemiologist and health economist Vishnu Baby Kumar discuss this trend from a patient perspective.

LONDON, ONTARIO - The hospital of the future will function differently in the context of the end-to-end patient journey than it does today, with artificial intelligence (AI) playing a key part at every step. Numerous studies already make clear that patient-centric, patient-driven delivery of care is the way forward.

AI’s current role is mostly confined to administrative tasks, but this is set to change as it integrates more into each aspect of a patient's journey. It is starting to ease the burden on medical staff of mundane and repetitive responsibilities, and this change will accelerate. The tech will also help doctors make faster and more accurate diagnoses for a more personalized and comprehensive experience for each patient. AI-powered chatbots are trained to analyze data on symptoms and help emergency room staff triage more efficiently and provide the right form of care faster. AI's transformative abilities will continue to enhance access to timely and high-quality healthcare for all - especially crucial as many countries deal with aging, shrinking populations. To see how this will work, one should first consider the different touch points in a patient’s journey: these are broadly classified into pre-hospital, hospital admission, diagnosis, treatment, and post-treatment.

Pre-hospital: Spotting patient needs at critical times

A patient’s journey begins well before s/he arrives at the hospital, and continues after discharge as well. The pre-hospital phase of the patient journey is where the initial contact between a potential patient and healthcare provider happens. This might be an emergency situation where immediate medical attention is needed, or one in which a patient identifies health issues and decides to address these by approaching a primary care physician. The former is more prevalent and requires appropriate care in a timely manner -

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