Patient interaction and bedside manner have been common expectations in the healthcare industry that have seen a recent technology pivot. Investment decisions in medical technologies are including touchless, contactless automation and virtual healthcare visits. The selections are being made at local, state, and national levels throughout communities, schools, hospitals, enterprises alike, considering multiple factors:

  • Safety (social distancing and virtual appointments)
  • Expediency (handling a large volume of people or tasks)
  • Accuracy (on-site exams or proper temperature readings)
  • ROI (costs to automate/staffing shortages)
  • Preserve human expectations with medical care and customer experience

Deliberate thought to incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) to automate mundane tasks can free time that will enhance the patient or customer experience.

Johan Rahardjo, managing director of Can-Am IT Solutions, offers up this example where the enterprise’s invention allows for mass temperature screenings. Imagine for a minute three people added to the payroll or redistributed from another department with a large manufacturing facility to stand at a door to take employee temperature checks as they walk in the door.

Employees must wait, often impatiently, in line and are delayed in beginning their business day. The screeners might have their phones temporarily deactivated from a call center or blinking customer chat lights popping up on-screen back at the desks. Distracted, they may also inaccurately take temperatures at the wrong temporal point, getting inaccurate reads, which also prompt upset employees and a frustrating interaction between co-workers.

Scenarios like these are what Rahardjo says can be avoided through more widespread adoption of his company’s Automated AI Rapid Testing Screening System, which AOTMP® first covered in April. The self-serve kiosk comes in four sizes to fit various needs: 4-foot, 2-foot, wall-mount, and desktop and has been received well by multiple groups such as county government, school systems, manufacturers, and is even being considered at the federal level.

Can-Am has placed 3,000 machines and envisions future uses for the technology, including as a visitor management system providing label printings and instructions following check ins, as well as background security screening to protect the community. Remote patient monitoring (RPM) with mobile devices is another realm for technology that Sakon, which provides mobile operation management, is seeing its customers deploy, according to Art Nicholas, GM Healthcare.

The rapid growth of RPM can be attributed not only to remote monitoring of recovering COVID-19 cases but to the fact that over 100 million Americans have at least one chronic condition whose treatment benefits from RPM. In addition, Nicholas said the improvement in devices for capturing vital information has increased significantly, devices are less expensive, smaller, and more consumer-friendly to set up and use.

“The pandemic accelerated a trend that was already in place,” he summarized. The human consideration with technology adoption is something that must be accounted for, Nicholas added. If the patient, particularly tech-adverse ones, struggles to use the devices, they won’t and will feel as though they are being pushed into an uncomfortable mode of care.

“People in the RPM space are investing a lot of time to design devices and services that are easy to set up and use. They are also choosing the right form of connectivity to meet the needs of different patients depending on their internet access and locations,” Nicholas explained.

Some RPM patients are provided a cellular device such as a tablet or smartphone and then other devices that are connected to that device via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to capture patient vitals. In other cases, each device is cellular-enabled based on a lack of broadband internet. To smooth patient comfort with these new practices, a strong RPM program should plan to include patient orientation to help them get off to a successful start, he said.

Self-registrations and check-ins via desktop or mobile devices, along with appointment reminders, are commonly in place. These automated procedures, much like the temperature sensor from Can-Am, will most likely grow as more groups and enterprises consider the previously mentioned five factors when adopting new technologies in the healthcare industry.

As far as ROI, it can be measured by the business and by the human using the technology, Rahardjo said.

“If you can both prevent someone coming in with a fever and keep the line shutting down, screenings like these are beneficial.”

Photo of Shelly Sack

Shelly Sack

Shelly is Manager of Content Programs for AOTMP®

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