Matthew Sappern, CEO of PeriGen was quoted in Becker’s Hospital Review’s key trends of 2018 and predictions for 2019.
By Becker’s Hospital Review | Laura Dyrda | December 13, 2018
Matt Sappern. CEO of PeriGen: Looking back, one trend that not only had an impact this year but will continue to have one going forward is the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify clinical patterns that could lead to an adverse event before those events occur. This has been huge in childbirth in addressing the maternal mortality crisis in particular. The United States currently has the highest maternal mortality rate of all developed countries — by far. But the good news is that 60 percent of those events are preventable if the proper signs are recognized early enough. Applying AI to the huge data sets we now have regarding the childbirth process is helping us identify those trends much earlier and calling them to the attention of nurses to ensure they can use their experience to determine when there is a potential issue, and to support their recommendations when they speak with physicians. AI has the potential to take the United States from worst in maternal mortality rates among developed nations to the best.
Looking forward, I think AI will continue to be a big focus in healthcare IT, but the story itself will shift. There have been concerns in the industry as to whether AI will eventually replace nurses or other clinicians, but I think it will become clearer that AI is an enhancement for clinicians, not a replacement. AI is great at parsing through large amounts of data and recognizing patterns. But it can’t look in a patient’s eyes or have a conversation with him/her and recognize something is wrong that the data isn’t showing. What AI can do is free clinicians from having to perform repetitive but necessary tasks that don’t require a lot of expertise so they can spend more time caring for patients and working at the tops of their licenses. I believe we’ll see more of an understanding of that, which will help the industry use AI to support clinical decision-making more effectively rather than viewing it as a replacement for it.