Healthcare AI won't take jobs – it'll make nursing easier, says process automation founder

Something's gotta give in short-staffed, overworked healthcare industry, reckons Thoughtful cofounder and CPO

Interview Companies are sticking AI everywhere they can right now - including injecting it into frontline healthcare. The benefits of healthcare AI are still up for debate, but Dan Parsons, cofounder and chief product officer at process automation firm Thoughtful, believes healthcare is the perfect place to start trialing new uses of the tech. 

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Describing AI as "a positive revolution" in the healthcare field, Parsons told us the healthcare industry is in dire need of a way out of its current predicament - namely: not enough workers, and too many patients. 

"What we're finding is a material degradation in the patient experience, and a lot of that is driven by this underlying staffing issue," Parsons told The Reg. "Anything that can drive and add more capacity into our healthcare system, I think ultimately is gonna result in a better patient experience." 

Of course, adding AI to healthcare isn't without its problems, as we've seen before, which is why Parsons believes we should start with the lowest risk areas – like patient-facing chats or post-visit surveys, as Nvidia and Hippocratic AI have partnered to develop.

But when there's talk of AI there's also talk of cut jobs and more profit for hospitals - Hippocratic's nursing AIs only cost around $9 an hour to run, for example. Despite the obvious economic advantage for hospitals, Parsons doesn't think nurses will be on the chopping block. 

"If anything, I think it'll improve the nurse experience," Parsons told us. He predicts a productivity boost, and an increase in wages for nurses over the next decade of nursing AI evolution. 

That's been a common refrain as AI's reach has grown - one that's been answered by some of tech's top leaders with confirmation that, regardless of rhetoric, AI is still coming for your job.

Whether things will be different in healthcare remains to be seen, which we talk about in more detail in the interview you can watch above. ®

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