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As we step into 2024, Artificial Intelligence (AI) in healthcare is reaching the height of innovation. In the dead of winter, let’s embrace the AI-summer 

At Softheon, we closely follow the advancements and predictions in this field, recognizing the potential for rapid progress and the roadblocks health plans will face. John Loomis, Softheon’s Head of Technology and AI, shares three predictions about the role and evolution of AI in healthcare for 2024.

1. The Advancement of Generative AI Technology will Reach New Heights

Since the 1950s, AI’s growth has been marked by periods of rapid growth and stagnation, often referred to as AI winters.  

However, the past year has signaled a significant shift. The advancement of generative AI technologies has been particularly noteworthy, demonstrating the far-reaching potential of AI. 

One such example is the OpenAI’s GPT-3 model, which has pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with AI, nudging us closer to the concept of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) – an AI system that can understand, learn, and apply its intelligence broadly and flexibly, much like a human brain. 

In the healthcare sector, this new dawn of transformative AI means more innovative products that leverage these technologies. These advancements could range from enhanced diagnostic tools to more personalized patient care solutions, revolutionizing how healthcare providers and patients interact with AI.

2. The C-Suite Focused on AI Adoption

The adoption of AI in healthcare is no longer a futuristic idea but a strategic necessity.  

In 2024, healthcare organization’s C-suites are expected to have an AI strategy as part of its roadmap. This trend will see healthcare companies either partnering with AI vendors or building their own systems. 

The key to leveraging AI effectively lies in understanding the value of data. Data serves as the foundational resource for companies, containing untapped potential that AI can unlock. Initially, AI projects will focus on automating mundane tasks to enhance worker productivity.  

These initial successes will pave the way for broader acceptance and understanding of AI’s value, transforming how the healthcare workforce operates and interacts with technology.

3. Legal and Ethical Challenges: The AI Battleground

As AI becomes more entrenched in healthcare, it inevitably leads to legal and ethical challenges.  

Issues surrounding AI, privacy, and intellectual property are likely to find their way into courtrooms, potentially even reaching the Supreme Court. These legal battles will shape the evolution of AI technology. 

With these legal battles comes increased regulatory guidance and complexities. For example, Biden’s Executive Order on Trustworthy AI that establishes guardrails around safety and security.  

Despite these challenges, the ‘genie is out of the bottle.’ Healthcare companies will increasingly turn to leveraging their own AI models, trained on their data, as a hedge against regulatory uncertainties. This shift underscores the need for robust frameworks around data protection, ethical AI use, and operability in the healthcare AI landscape. 

Embracing AI with Responsibility: Next Steps for Health Plans Looking to Dive into AI 

As we embrace the AI revolution in healthcare, the need for robust ethical guidelines and privacy frameworks cannot be overstated. The journey ahead is filled with incredible potential and significant challenges. At Softheon, we commit to staying at the forefront of this evolution, ensuring that our contributions to AI in healthcare are not only innovative but also responsible and beneficial to all stakeholders. 

To discover how other health plans are successfully navigating the complexities and pressures of AI, download Softheon’s comprehensive guide designed specifically for health plan leadership.