While artificial intelligence (AI) is often the villain in sci-fi Hollywood thrillers, it has incredible potential to streamline, democratize and straighten out much in the healthcare industry.

In his article in Health Fidelity, Steve Whitehurst shared four key healthcare trends that will fundamentally change how the industry operates. One of those key trends is the use of AI.

Whitehurst states:

“With the explosion of healthcare data from [electronic health records] and digital health applications, technology companies are developing ways to extract relevant information from these massive data sets and present actionable insights to help organizations make better decisions for their patients.”

PwC recently shared that there was more than 4 trillion gigabytes (4 zettabytes) of health-related data generated in 2013, and that number was expected to grow to more than 10 times that by 2020.

Narrowing the focus, MedicalFuturist shared that there are 11,00 new dermatology articles published every year, with 80 percent of the information not contained in a database or other data structure. “Staying current with and being able to access this data is simply beyond the scope of any human individual, no matter how capable or intelligent,” PwC summarized.

Whitehurst said AI gives organizations the tools “to aggregate and decipher data that is scattered across different sources and multiple entities to create a more complete patient profile,” resulting in lower costs and better care.

Dave Chase, author of The CEO’s Guide to Restoring the American Dream and the architect of The Health Rosetta, recently shared his hopes with Rick Ramos of BenefitsPro.com regarding technology and the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare.

A huge cost weighing down the healthcare industry is fraud, he said, to the tune of more than $300 billion annually. Just as technology tracks your spending patterns to alert you to the fraudulent use of your bank card, AI could be applied to recognize irregularities in medical claims, thwarting “the sophisticated cyber criminals that are having a field day with the U.S. healthcare system,” he said.

Furthermore, he said the benefits could also work in reducing waste and abuse by the healthcare providers, too–making for a more transparent environment.

“It’s still early days for AI in the employee benefits space, but companies are already seeing a huge return on investment and it’s only expected to grow,” Chase sadi. “Since health care is such a large part of a company’s expenses, these early backers will become more competitive within the market. Companies need to start investing in AI technologies and add them to more business processes to improve service, lower cost and add efficiencies. Companies that fail to implement AI will be saddled with extra costs and legacy processes that will erode their market share.”

Want to hear more from Dave Chase? We’ve got a copy of his book, The CEO’s Guide to Restoring the American Dream, available for free. Click here to get it.

And to learn more about how to reduce fraud, waste and abuse even without AI, contact Captiva Benefit Solutions today.