How AI could aid an often-overlooked aspect of experience

Head with brain in cupped hand
Artificial intelligence may soon help hospitals reach their goal of improving patient satisfaction.

Hospitals looking to up their patient satisfaction game might do well to ensure that patients' family and other visitors have a positive experience, as well. And artificial intelligence may soon help organizations reach that goal. 

Smart AI-powered devices and systems can sense what we’re doing and make suggestions based on past behavior—and even drill down to fine details, such as suggesting that a visitor buy a bouquet of balloons because the patient is allergic to flowers, according to a recent Harvard Business Review article.

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The article offers a glimpse into what visiting an AI-powered hospital might look like, right down to automatic payments that let visitors skip the checkout line at the hospital cafeteria. 

Of course, AI devices can also help patients, reminding them when they need to take their medicine, for example, which could curb medication nonadherence. Robotic doctors powered by AI are also poised to disrupt the industry. Medical robots might not be 100% reliable, but in some cases they may still be more reliable than humans, FierceHealthcare has reported. 

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Still, "it doesn't matter how intelligent machines become; doctors will always need to be in between the machine and the patient, to try to tailor the recommendations that we're getting," says medical futurist Herbert Chase, M.D., of Columbia University.