Author: Olivia Phillips

How AI in healthcare could change patient care

ai in healthcare, virtual sitting,

In recent memory, no technology has so quickly penetrated the cultural zeitgeist as artificial intelligence (AI). At an ever-increasing pace, AI is being hailed as the hero capable of fixing everything from world hunger to climate change. Companies across the globe are racing to utilize AI to automate, simplify, and rationalize manual tasks across every industry, including healthcare.  

At the same time, healthcare has been grappling with tremendous cost pressure & staffing shortages for years. Over the past decade, hospitals have focused on utilizing technology to help drive significant change through: 

  1. Digitization of documentation and communication tools
  2. Consolidation of health systems in search of economies of scale 
  3. Virtualization of traditional care models to include remote caregivers and stakeholders 

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic poured gasoline over the fire of those pressures; and hospitals quickly implemented changes to adapt.  In many cases, integrated tools are not delivering the simplicity needed; shared data is not delivering the actionable insights that caregivers need; and automation is not allowing care teams to scale that care to an increasing number of patients.   

Clearly, there’s no “silver bullet” to remedy all the chaos and pressure.  Many key plays need to be run, integrations must deepen, technology needs to be more open to 3rd party access, and virtual experience needs to seamlessly merge with care workflows.   

How can AI in healthcare help?

As an industry, we seem to latch on to the hope of the next big thing. Waves of opportunity have come our way with Meaningful Use, Actionable Insights, multi-use case infrastructure like Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS), and more. What does that mean for AI? How can we focus our efforts to soak up as much of the wave as it rolls in?   

There are a few key questions we need to answer in determining if utilizing AI in healthcare will truly be the savior it needs, or if it’s just another passing technology fad that won’t deliver on its promises:  

What is AI? 
What use case examples of AI in healthcare are primed for change? 
What risks need to be top of mind when implementing AI in healthcare settings? How can those risks be mitigated? 

What is AI? 

Let’s tackle what that term, “artificial intelligence,” means.  Promising examples of AI in healthcare settings include references to the following technologies:  

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) – helps take data from unstructured to structured 
  • Conversational Bots – virtual agents that manage conversations with patients via text, IM, etc. 
  • Predictive analytics – mines data to plug into algorithms that project things like patient risk 
  • Ambient Listening – listens to live audio to turn conversations into notes or identify risks 
  • Computer Vision – watches live video to identify patterns or risks 
  • Remote Patient Monitoring – uses data from medical devices to anticipate risks or care needs 

What use case examples of AI in healthcare are primed for change?

Despite AI’s newfound popularity, some technologies on the list above have been around in healthcare for years. NLP is being used to turn dictated notes into actionable work, like orders, and Predictive Analytics are employed by Populational Health technologies to help target specific populations for focused care based on their risk.  

So, if AI in healthcare isn’t anything new, why is it so prevalent in today’s industry discussions? For one, the underlying technology has changed and improved very quickly, making it a more powerful tool. For another, the volume of data needed to improve AI models is becoming more manageable to achieve. As a perfect example, ChatGPT-4 took social media by storm as people began asking for AI to produce legal contracts, bedtime stories for their kids, and essays for homework assignments. Mere weeks later, new forms of this AI were appearing as Chrome extensions that were already better, faster, and stronger than the ones before. The more AI is used, the more valuable it will become because every use provides meaningful learning. 

All this progress makes the potential for AI in healthcare more optimistic. Experts agree that, among other things, AI will be key in supporting the push towards more impactful virtual care models. More specifically, this will be achieved through the use of predictive analytics, computer vision, and ambient listening.  

During the time that AI entered the conversation, two other important advancements also happened: 

  • Technology continued to get faster, stronger, and cheaper. Cameras, microphones, speakers, and other equipment necessary to facilitate virtual interactions are now available in more patient rooms than ever before. 
  • The COVID-19 pandemic opened patients’ and caregivers’ eyes to virtual care, making these interactions more trusted and commonplace. 

AI can help turn heavily user dependent devices into seamlessly integrated, clinical workflow-enabling devices. We are entering a moment where the true potential of virtual care is being unlocked, facilitated by the growing prospect of the availability of an AI-enabled virtual care device in every hospital room.  

What risks need to be top of mind when implementing AI in healthcare settings?  

While one may not be worried about what’s at stake when using AI to help write a bedtime story, the stakes of healthcare are much higher. AI-enabled devices in every hospital room could bring virtual care to life, but there are important questions to consider. 

  • Are cameras and speakers now the equivalent of a door to the patient room?  
  • Who decides when the door should be open or closed?   
  • How do patients, staff, and visitors know that the doors are open, and what does that mean?   
  • What happens if multiple virtual care team members try to open that door and walk in at the same time?   
  • Which patients do, or do not, qualify for virtual care models and participation? 
  • The list goes on…. 

So, is AI just a short-lived buzzword, or are there clinically relevant use cases that you can take advantage of? Industry experience tells us to avoid getting our hopes up, else our belief in a healthy future might be dashed. We now know that failure is not an option. If we can all see the challenges for what they are and take a mindful approach to what and how we implement, then AI in healthcare may be the ‘silver bullet’ we’ve been promised for years. 

The hospital room of the future: Episodic™ Care solution powered by AvaSure’s Intelligent Virtual Care Platform 

virtual care platform

Caregivers can now provide thoughtful care from anywhere with a fast, reliable two-way connection that supports virtual care for admission, discharge, specialty consults, rounding, and more.

AvaSure Episodic™ Solution

Virtual care is essential to adapt

As healthcare systems grapple with rising costs, staffing shortages, and increasing complexity of patient care, the urgency for change is at an all-time high. With a staggering 22.7% turnover rate among staff, hospitals struggle to uphold their commitment to patient care. Amidst these challenges, there’s a growing recognition that digital transformation measures are essential.

Hospitals across the world are adopting virtual care solutions to alleviate the mounting pressures facing healthcare systems globally. This signals a brighter future for both patients and healthcare providers alike. Using technology to facilitate remote consultations, monitoring, and support, virtual care offers a pathway toward improved staff satisfaction, enhanced patient experiences, better health outcomes, and more efficient hospital operations. With the right virtual care platform, hospitals can redefine patient experiences and revolutionize the way healthcare services are delivered.

The path to virtual care isn’t always clear

As hospitals and health systems embark on the journey toward the hospital room of the future, the road is fraught with obstacles, requiring hospitals to confront complex issues head-on. Historically, hospitals have adopted point solutions to address specific virtual care needs, resulting in fragmented systems and siloed approaches. Now, there is a growing recognition of the need to consolidate these disparate solutions into integrated virtual care platforms that can scale across the entire enterprise. Such endeavors require a significant investment, posing financial constraints for resource-strapped healthcare institutions. Without a clear adoption model that demonstrates ROI, hospitals struggle to build the business case for virtual care, further complicating the decision-making process. 

Amidst this backdrop, hospitals are piloting virtual care platforms, each with varying levels of success and clinical adoption. The stakes are high, as the initial impression of these pilots can significantly influence the trust that caregivers have in these technologies to deliver on their promise. Hospitals must tread carefully, ensuring that their chosen solutions and partners not only meet the clinical needs of their patients but also garner widespread acceptance and support from healthcare professionals. Support from clinical, IT, and finance departments paves the way for successful implementation and integration into routine care delivery practices.

Episodic™ Care solution powered by AvaSure’s Intelligent Virtual Care Platform

Step into the hospital of the future with AvaSure’s new virtual care solution, AvaSure Episodic. Designed in close collaboration with clinicians and technical experts, AvaSure Episodic delivers a reliable two-way video solution designed to scale to the entire enterprise. 

With the AvaSure Episodic solution, caregivers gain full control over the quality of remote, consultative patient interactions. It enables two-way video with group calling and polite entry, allowing for specialty consults, admitting and discharging patients, rounding, and more. Virtual care with the Episodic solution frees up time for nursing and support staff, enables seamless remote nursing workflows, and allows collaboration with specialists across the country. With AvaSure, clinicians can achieve more without stretching themselves thin.


  • Group calling to include multiple parties: Care teams can easily invite family members, interpreters, caregivers, and consulting specialists from multiple locations to join a group session, saving time and making conversations more efficient.
  • Polite entry to patient rooms: Caregivers respect patients’ privacy by notifying patients before entering the room virtually with a doorbell chime, allowing them time to accept the call.  
  • Web-based access: Neither caregivers nor families need to download anything – all access to episodic care sessions is delivered via a web browser, whether on mobile or desktop.
  • Fast, reliable two-way video: Clinicians admit and discharge patients remotely, engage with them on rounds, connect with specialists in other locations, and provide training and mentoring to other staff members using portable, flexible devices with high-fidelity cameras.
  • Integration with Epic: Caregivers can easily launch virtual patient visits from Epic without disrupting their workflow, creating a seamless experience. 

The ability for a variety of caregivers to connect with a patient, whether it is a nurse, physician, specialist, or case manager, opens a whole realm of possibilities to drive better patient experience, more efficient operations, and reduced burden on bedside staff. AvaSure’s Intelligent Virtual Care Platform allows healthcare teams to seamlessly integrate in-person and virtual caregivers, promoting continuity of care and ensuring treatment plans are tailored to individual needs. Interpreters and family members can also participate in virtual group interactions to simplify communication. By leveraging AvaSure to involve a diverse range of caregivers in patient care, healthcare organizations can optimize resource utilization, streamline workflows, and alleviate pressure on frontline staff, ultimately enhancing the quality of care and patient outcomes.

The AvaSure Episodic solution can support a variety of virtual care workflows for virtual nurses, physicians, specialists, and other caregivers, including:

  • Admission and discharge documentation: Virtual caregivers streamline the admission and discharge documentation process by securely reviewing, capturing, and updating patient records remotely. This reduces administrative burden, minimizes errors, and ensures accurate and efficient documentation, enabling smoother transitions of care for patients.
  • Patient education: Patients can benefit from virtual education sessions delivered by healthcare professionals, empowering them with knowledge and resources to better understand their conditions, treatments, and self-care strategies, decreasing the risk of readmissions. 
  • Novice nurse mentorship: Novice nurses receive guidance, feedback, and support from experienced mentors remotely, often offering a second set of eyes for high-risk medications or patient assessments. Mentors can observe, assess, and provide tailored coaching to help novice nurses develop clinical skills, confidence, and competence in their practice, ultimately improving patient outcomes and enhancing the overall quality of care delivery.
  • Specialty consults: Care teams can easily connect with specialty consultants through virtual care platforms, enabling timely consultations and interdisciplinary collaboration, ensuring that patients receive the most appropriate and effective care tailored to their needs.
  • Proactive rounding: Virtual rounding enables care teams to conduct proactive check-ins with patients remotely, ensuring ongoing monitoring of their condition, progress, and satisfaction. Through video conferencing or virtual visits, healthcare providers can address any concerns, provide emotional support, and reinforce treatment plans, promoting continuity of care and patient-centered communication.

One platform can change everything 

The ideal virtual care platform must meet the criteria set by both clinical and IT leaders. In addition to essential hardware and monitoring software, today’s virtual care platforms must meet increasingly high enterprise-level IT standards. They should operate on open, scalable infrastructure to seamlessly integrate with existing systems, ensuring minimal downtime and optimal connectivity for care teams. They should include robust analytics and an intelligence layer for generating clear, measurable outcomes, along with AI capabilities to enhance patient safety and alleviate the workload of virtual staff. Most importantly, access to comprehensive support is essential, particularly for clinical teams navigating change management and envisioning a sustainable virtual care strategy. That’s a tall order. 

virtual care platform

AvaSure is the only virtual care platform that fulfills each of these crucial requirements, continuously innovating while demonstrating a proven record of clinical outcomes. Hospitals use AvaSure for AI-powered continuous monitoring, episodic care, and building a greater ecosystem of solutions and workflows that transform the hybrid care delivery model. Our team of experienced nursing and healthcare experts collaborate with customers to shape a vision for the future and bring it to life. 

One platform can change everything. AvaSure’s Intelligent Virtual Care Platform combines continuous monitoring and episodic care solutions designed to free up more time for nursing and support staff, enable seamless remote care workflows, and ensure better outcomes for patients. 

Read the press release.