There is no denying that the American health care system can provide quality care. However, it’s costly and riddled with a tedious, bloated bureaucracy. Experts estimate that more than a third of health care costs go to bureaucracy and administration nationwide.
Besides astronomical costs, there are preventable medical errors, personnel shortages, glaring procedural inefficiencies and severe lapses in transparency. Add to this the difficulties Americans have finding affordable coverage and the right providers, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
The current health care model is unsustainable
Despite the ACA, 28 million Americans remain uninsured. Most cannot find suitable plans or navigate the system. Many with coverage are often underinsured for the same reasons.
This strains an already stressed system. Uninsured patients typically can’t afford health care, and those who pay out-of-pocket are unlikely to follow prescribed treatments because of cost.
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This sobering lack of access directly leads to higher morbidity and hospitalization rates for otherwise preventable problems, driving up medical costs overall.
Instead of placing an even greater burden on human health care personnel, America’s health care system should look to AI.
American health care needs AI assistance
AI cannot replace human specialists, but it can assist.
It’s ideal for primary care tasks. AI can administer preventive and preliminary care, lowering costs even further. Affordable essential care services increase access and reduce systemic strain.
Healthtech startups are already working to address this. Antidote Health 1 serves individuals with no health insurance by providing AI-driven acute care for a $35 monthly subscription.
Another example is Smartomica, which analyzes and interprets DNA and RNA data to give physicians access to highly individualized medical care.
It simplifies data sequencing and cross-referencing and provides personalized, actionable insights physicians can pass along to patients.
AI reduces bloated bureaucracy
AI cannot eliminate the red tape of American health care, but it can ease the process.
It can be integrated into existing medical systems to automate time-consuming tasks like coding, billing and charting. This eliminates human error, frees up personnel and actively cuts the administrative load.
AI can also aid in fraud, waste and abuse detection, saving resources.
Healthtech is poised for disruption
Startups are looking at all avenues to disrupt health care.
XRHealth combines telehealth with therapy treatments via FDA-registered VR applications. Licensed therapists guide sessions and use the app to monitor and adjust patient movements in real-time.
Other startups like ScreenPoint and Aidence utilize AI for medical image analysis. ScreenPoint offers early detection for breast cancer. With Aidence, radiologists compile reports using deep-learning algorithms.
Swift action is needed
Despite the clear benefits, there are significant hurdles for healthtech startups.
First, products are subject to a time-consuming FDA approval process. Steps must be taken to revamp regulations for prompt approval.
Second, doctors are often resistant to change. Despite hard data, health care personnel face psychological obstacles to AI assistance. Doctors need opportunities to experience how technology can enhance their diagnostic abilities.
Startups can change the future
The American health care system is deeply flawed, and healthtech startups seek every available avenue to improve conditions for both patients and personnel.
From Elon Musk‘s Neuralink to microsurgery robot assistance, the only way forward is for humans to embrace supportive technologies and push for a better, more integrated approach to American health and wellness.
Sergey Gribov is a partner at venture fund Flint Capital and a board member at Socure, Antidote, Cyolo, among others. Gribov is a technology entrepreneur and investor with more than 20 years of experience. Over the years, he has participated as a founder or top manager in many startups in the U.S. and Israel.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
Antidote Health is a Flint Capital portfolio company.↩
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