The Boom of Telehealth and Artificial Intelligence (AI) during the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Sustainability

Telehealth vs Telemedecine

  • The pandemic has catalyzed the adoption of telehealth.
    • “Telehealth” refers to a broader scope of remote health care services than telemedicine.
    • Telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, while telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services).
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) has a lot of parallels with Telehealth.

What happened during the 2020 pandemic ?

  • Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the adoption of telehealth boomed in the first few weeks of the pandemic in the United States.
  • 6 months after the pandemic began (November 2020) decreased to about 6% under the levels seen before the pandemic.

What does the future hold ?

  • Will the telehealth boost be sustained ?
  • We’ve already bridged the proof-of-concept to practice gap. What it took was a global pandemic to do so, and there’s a highly-evolving ecosystem, just as there is with artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Will this adoption be sustained?
    • How can we set up AI for success so that it is sustainable?
    • Can we learn from those lessons from telehealth and apply them to AI
    • Can we capitalize on the adoption of telehealth in dermatology, and seize that opportunity to prospectively and intentionally collect high-quality data for AI-based solutions ?

Note that the presenter has used the concept of Augmented Intelligence instead of Artificial Intelligence. Please refer to the introductory article of this term.

Ivy Lee, MD. Augmented Artificial Intelligence in Dermatology. Core concepts and clinical decision making. 8th World Congress of Teledermatology, Skin Imaging and AI in Skin diseases – November 2020

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