The Increasingly Digital Demands Of Patients

Tech startup Orbita are one of the more interesting entrants into the medtech marketplace as they are arguably the leaders in voice and conversational AI technologies in the industry.  For instance, I wrote last year about work the company are doing to deploy voice analysis technology in clinical trials.

The company is also making inroads into mainstream healthcare environments, and recently announced a partnership with the Mayo Clinic to help transform the patient journey.  The partnership will see Mayo’s leading educational content paired up with Orbita’s voice platform to give organizations the ability to engage with audiences in new ways.

“Millions of people trust Mayo Clinic to deliver expert, comprehensive care, as well as credible health knowledge and expertise,” said Sandhya Pruthi, M.D., associate medical director, Mayo Clinic Global Business Solutions. “Leveraging Orbita’s technology and expertise, we can extend beyond the traditional digital channels of web and mobile to enable meaningful, content-driven conversations at the time and place information is needed. Voice is a powerful interface for providing useful, practical, evidence-based information that supports overall health and wellness goals.”

Growing demand for AI tools

The move is part of a growing desire among the public for AI tools to manage their health.  A recent survey undertaken by Accenture highlights the growing demand for digital health services by patients.

The results found that the public are increasingly accepting of machines, whether AI tools, virtual clinicians or home-based diagnostics, having a much greater role in their medical care.  Indeed, around 20% of respondents already use AI-powered healthcare services.

“Driven by experiences outside of healthcare, consumers increasingly expect to use digital technologies to control when, where and how they receive care services,” Accenture say. “By harnessing digital technologies in this way, healthcare will increasingly tap digital technologies to empower human judgement, free up clinician time and personalize care services to put control in the patients’ hands.”

The results also reveal that people are increasingly using digital tools to self-manage their own health.  For example, the use of health apps has tripled in the last four years, with nearly 50% of respondents now using them.  Nearly half had also accessed their digital health records in the past year.  Similar growth has been seen in the use of wearable health and fitness devices.

“The more accustomed healthcare consumers become to using wearables and other smart technologies, the more open they are to sharing the personal health data these tools collect,” Accenture say.

It’s a clear sign that technologies like that developed by Orbita are gaining acceptance in the marketplace, but also that healthcare providers need to significantly up their game given the growing expectations of patients.