Exploring the Impact of Generative AI on Healthcare With John Lynn

Summary

Join John Lynn, Healthcare Scene’s founder, in discussing generative AI’s transformative impact in healthcare. The conversation explores the changing dynamics of patient care through tools like Chat GPT, reshaping how patients access and understand health information. John is emphasizing a shift in the doctor-patient relationship, emphasizing the need for respectful communication as patients become more informed through generative AI. John highlights the positive aspect of informed patients engaging in meaningful healthcare conversations. John encourages active engagement with generative AI among healthcare professionals, advocating for hands-on experience to comprehend its strengths and weaknesses.

Key Moments

Unlocking the Power of Generative AI in Healthcare

  • Exploring the transformative potential of generative AI in healthcare, focusing on applications like ambient clinical voice, content generation, and more.
  • John Lynn emphasizes the need for hands-on experience to harness generative AI effectively.

HealthcareScene Founder, John Lynn’s Journey

  • Delving into John Lynn’s background and journey from a tech professional to the founder of HealthcareScene, a leading healthcare IT community.
  • Lynn shares insights into the evolution of his career, passion for healthcare technology, and the birth of Healthcare IT Today.

Generative AI’s Impact on Content Creation and Summarization

  • John Lynn discusses how generative AI enhances medical record systems by creating personalized and predictive summaries, revolutionizing data traversal for healthcare professionals.
  • Emphasis on AI-generated summaries for patients, providing a simplified understanding of complex medical data.

Shaping the Future of Healthcare Content with Generative AI

  • Examining the role of generative AI in healthcare content creation, John Lynn envisions it as a valuable tool rather than a threat.
  • Practical applications include social media content generation, podcast/video descriptions, and creating catchy, effective headlines using AI prompts.

Transcript

Nicole Guevara

So welcome to the Digital Health Transformers podcast series. This podcast explored the dynamic world of healthcare innovation, one conversation at a time. I’m your host, Nicole Guevara, and today we have an inspiring guest at the forefront of transforming the healthcare landscape. Today, we’ve got a special guest joining us, a popular name among healthcare enthusiasts and leaders, John Lynn. He’s the founder and chief editor of HealthCare Scene, which includes Healthcare IT Today and Sway.Health, communities, blogs, podcasts, and conferences. His knowledge of marketing, blogging, and SEO has helped him create a niche in healthcare.

He also is an advisor for several health IT companies and his healthcare media company. HealthCare IT Today is the leading healthcare IT community with over 16,500 published articles, more than 600 videos and audio podcasts, and a community of 200,000 followers. Sway.Health is the only place healthcare B2B marketers, hospitals, and health system marketers unite to improve a patient’s lives. The healthcare scene has carved a strong place in health IT media. Under the guidance and the supervision of John Lynn, the healthcare scene has not only flourished but also educated millions of healthcare entities. Thank you so much for joining us here today, John. How are you?

John Lynn

Great. I’m tired just listening to all that. I appreciate it. I’m happy to be here. Wonderful.

Nicole Guevara

So let’s go dig in. Before I dig into generative AI in healthcare, could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you developed your interest in healthcare?

John Lynn

Yeah, so it’s interesting. I’m a tech guy by background, literally a tech guy on Twitter, but every day I think I lose a little bit of my tech guy skills. So I was working in tech at a university. I ended up getting a job at UNLV and their health and counseling center. So, you know, basically a clinic for students and they hired me to implement their EMR. And so I got that job and about six months in, I was bored on a weekend. And what do tech guys do on a weekend when they’re bored? Yeah, I created a website about EMR, of course. I mean, who wouldn’t want to do that? Anyway, so I started that, and made it to the first page of Google for EMR. I wasn’t really trying to become a blogger or journalist or media person, but I was just messing around with search and optimization. I figured it was a good resume builder. Anyway, fast forward five years, you know, I made it to the first page of Google for EMR and then they gave $36 billion of stimulus money and my sites just blew up. At that point, I had two different sites, not just the one. And so that was the start of my media journey, really.

I quit the day job, now I think it’s 15 years ago or something like that. So, you know, it really just grew from there and obviously became, you know, passionate about the way that technology can transform healthcare. I mean, I think that was always my passion is how can technology improve any process? Not that technology is always the answer, but that it can help in a lot of ways. So, you know, I think that’s what comes through on healthcare IT today. You know, when we write about technology, when we do videos, it’s the passion for how technology can improve the situation of doctors, nurses, patients, et cetera. So I think that’s my passion. And then, you know, Sway.Health obviously grew out of healthcare IT today. One of my advertisers said, hey, is there a B2B healthcare marketing conference? And I’m like, sorry, there’s not. And she’s like, well, you should start it. And so, you know, I guess that’s what entrepreneurs do. I heard the idea, floated it by some other people and, you know, the Sway.Health community was born, which is really just a unique community of healthcare marketers. So I feel lucky to be part of those two communities.

Nicole Guevara

That is absolutely great. Great to hear about that. And can you share a little bit about your initial days as a blogger? What topics did you usually write about? What were the headings that you usually put?

John Lynn

Yeah, well, it’s funny. I was going back and looking through some of my old articles yesterday because I was looking at where I predicted essentially the ambient clinical voice would happen, which we’ll probably talk about later. But, you know, I called it a video EHR. So the thing I missed was we just don’t need the video. We just need the audio. But, you know, I was looking at some of those posts and to be fair, I was somewhat embarrassed. And I was also sad that we’ve been complaining about EMRs for 15 years. You know, doctors didn’t like them any more 15 years ago than they do today. So, you know, that’s what I was writing about was implementing electronic medical records. What are the benefits? Initially, it was like, should we implement an EMR? Then it became, how do we implement the EMR? Which one should we implement? And then they gave $36 million in stimulus money. And when that happened, I actually published every single day on two different sites for like three years, all talking about how do you get the stimulus money in and how do you select an EMR and implement it? So that was the main original focus. Certainly evolved since then to pretty much anything healthcare technology related for providers and hospitals, health systems.

Nicole Guevara

Wow, that’s absolutely great. Because at that time, especially with the hi-tech act, everything was just blooming and then EMRs were just arising and most of the clinics were doing what they could do with interoperability and then new laws came out. So your timing and your foresight is incredible. Let’s dive deep into technology. Considering your knowledge, how do you see generative AI changing how technology works in healthcare?

John Lynn

Yeah, I think it’s interesting, generative AI and, you know, AI in general, which we’ve been using for a while, right? But generative AI accelerated people’s belief that AI could actually impact healthcare. And so I think that’s just such a powerful thing. And some of the areas that I think that’s gonna change how we do it, you know, the first one I already mentioned is ambient clinical voice. It’s the most exciting thing that’s happened since the $36 billion of stimulus money as part of the hi-tech act, right? Like when you see it, you know, and you see how effective it is, it’s hard to imagine for me that 80 to 90% of doctors aren’t going to use this new interface. And it’s like leaps and bounds better than something like voice recognition, which many people compare it to. And certainly at its core, it has voice recognition as well, but doctors didn’t want to use that because you had to train on how to use voice recognition. And so we often would take doctors who usually were having trouble with EMR, we’d say, hey, why don’t you use voice recognition? And it didn’t make any sense though, because the doctors that don’t want to customize their EHR, that don’t want to create templates, that don’t want to use, you know, work with it, now let’s give them something that’s even harder to customize, harder to tweak, harder to use, which is voice recognition. Well, with an ambient clinical voice, that’s not true. They literally are just hitting a button that says record. It’s sitting in the background, they’re just doing a visit like normal. Maybe they have to articulate a few more things about what the patient’s doing or what they’re seeing or what they’re thinking. But other than that, it just documents the visit for them.

So I’m, you know, I’m a huge advocate of ambient clinical voice, and we’re just getting started with what it’s going to be able to do. We need the EHR integrations to be better for ambient clinical voice, that’s fair. And that’s going to happen and that’s happening. I mean, in many ways, it’s forced the EHR vendors to open up their APIs so they can do that. So anyway, ambient clinical voice is top of my list. A couple others that I think are really interesting, letters, like letters that the doctor has to write to the patient, or even, you know, on the patient side that the patient has to write to the insurance company. They’re written, you know, like they’re not that interesting, right? Like they need to be done right and they need to be done correct, but it is a redundant task. And that’s where AI and generative AI in particular is great at solving that. So I don’t think most people in healthcare, doctors, nurses, patients are going to be writing letters. Gen AI is going to be writing it and then they just review it. So we’re seeing that happen across a lot of EHR vendors. And then the other one that I think is really interesting is responding to patients. What happened during COVID is that all these patients discovered the portal and that they could message their doctor through the portal. And they haven’t stopped using it.

So what’s interesting is that doctors now are getting these waves of messages from patients that are overwhelming to them, to be quite frank, because they’re not really paid to answer those messages. Although, interestingly enough, many health systems are starting to charge patients for those messages and how that evolves, I don’t know. We’ll see. What’s the bar of what’s considered a visit message versus a refill versus an insurance question that you should answer, but that’s not really a visit. So I think that’s gonna be interesting to see play out from a financial perspective, but AI is going to help these doctors deal with that inbox, right? They hate documenting and they hate pajama time documenting visits, but they hate responding to patients during pajama time, as they call it these days, even more, because a lot of it is basic stuff and they’re not being compensated for it. So it’s a challenging thing to do. Now they love to interact with the patients, don’t get me wrong there, but AI is gonna allow them to do it in a very efficient way because many of the messages are redundant. They’re easy to respond to, but do take time. If AI can make that time go quicker so that it generates the right response to the patients, then that’s gonna be valuable. So there’s a couple, but here’s the other thing to think about. I don’t think we really know. Like it’s so early in generative AI. I don’t think we know all that it’s going to be able to accomplish.

Nicole Guevara

Very true. You have made some really good points. I’m just getting inboxes regarding ambient AI in my invites as well to learn more about it. I think that’s gonna be an interesting point. When you talk about the letters and the forms and the templates that’s being sent to the insurances, it’s a great generative AI can add more templated response, especially if there are certain parameters that they need to meet in order for the patient to get that bill or claim dispute considered, or having those responses templated by the AI will lessen the burnout from the doctors that we see across the gamut of healthcare. So in your view, what role does generative AI play in making medical health record systems work better and more accurately?

John Lynn

So, I mean, again, I think we’re in the early days. So we’ll see where this is, two years from now, I bet we’ll have a very different conversation and we’ll have evolved it. And also what’s exciting is when you combine gen AI with robotic process automation or with communication or with the different technologies that are available. But here’s a couple that I think might be interesting to think about. And the first one is creating summaries of this vast amount of data that we have. And by the way, this is true for the doctors who are looking at their EHR and they look at it and they’re like, oh man, we have all of this information. And then they think, oh man, we have all of this information. Where do I find the stuff that’s really relevant to me? Do I have to open 15 documents or 20 screens to get to the data that I really need?

Well, right now the answer is, yeah, they do. Unfortunately, sure, there’s some dashboards and different things that do summarize some things that EHR vendors have created, but now, and we’re seeing this already in a number of EHRs, they have a button that says summarize the patient. And it goes in and actually pulls all the lab results. It pulls all the medications and it pulls all the information from the previous notes and creates a summary. And that includes things like information from outside sources. When you look at Commonwealth connections and what’s happening with TEFCA and QHINs, doctors are gonna have even more data that they’ve never seen before because it’s not their data. It was something that happened to a different specialist or it happened in retail health or wherever it might’ve been. They’re gonna have even more data. And how are the doctors going to traverse that data? And the answer for me is generative AI. Now we have to be careful. It has to be done in a way that doesn’t create hallucinations that doesn’t leave out important information that should be there.

So in some ways it’s a form of generative AI, but it’s a much more conservative form that only shares data when it’s certain it doesn’t create hallucinations. But that’s gonna be powerful for the doctors to be able to see the summary of all the information they need. But it turns out it’s also useful for the patients because patients don’t wanna go through all that data and they want it translated into a reading level that makes sense for them as a patient because many of them don’t speak medicalese. And so the generative AI can help to translate that into a third grade level, fifth grade level as most people say that patients want and need to have that simple communication. So I think gen AI is gonna summarize the different data from the doctors, from the lab results and present it to the patients in a way that they can actually use it and understand it. And of course, let’s not forget we can even do it in languages, right?

Like you can translate all of that data into Spanish, into whatever language, if it’s a niche language that almost no one knows. Well, it turns out AI is pretty good at a lot of that better than even translators in many cases. So I think that’s powerful. And then just broader on this summary idea, do we really need the same note for every person that looks at the medical record for a patient? And the answer is of course not. In fact, we would love that the nurse has a note and the doctor has a note and the patient has a note and the biller has a note. And so generative AI and everything that’s happening with the summarization is going to present the note to the person based on their need with the information they need for billing versus the information they need for nursing. And in fact, maybe that’s gonna be even different depending on who you are as a nurse. Maybe you’re someone who likes the allergies in the upper right corner with red and you’re gonna tell this, your generative AI solution, that’s what you like and it’s gonna do that for you.

And so I actually think there’s gonna be this repository of data in the EHR. I mean, the EHR is gonna be that repository, but then the gen AI is gonna take all of that data and create unique notes or at least displays of that note for whoever needs it in the context they need it. And let me just throw in one more thing calling back to the ambient clinical voice. It’s gonna generate even more data as well because doctors would only document what? 25, 50% of what was actually said in the exam room because that’s all they had time to do and that’s all they needed to get paid. Well, ambient voice is gonna generate all of this data. It’s gonna capture everything. So the amount of data that’s gonna be available to doctors, patients, nurses, et cetera is gonna just explode because of ambient voice that’s gonna collect even more data. And so that’s why this summary feature is gonna be even more important because the amount of data from ambient voice, from external sources, from wearable data, from et cetera, et cetera, right? That it’s just gonna explode. And so we have to have this feature.

Nicole Guevara

Well said, those are very insightful observations. And I’m glad that you mentioned a summarization sort of generative AI that it’s personalized and predictive to the users. So that’s definitely gonna be game-changing. But also when it comes to summaries, most Google searches are when a patient gets out of the exam room asking Google to explain to them a certain disease perspective or management. So I think having that summary, especially just for patients’ purview will be very helpful. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. So now going back as a blogger, do you think generative AI can shape healthcare content creation and what potential does it have for content creators?

John Lynn

Yeah, it’s interesting to think about it. And I think many bloggers are like, what’s the future? And it’s a good question, right? If you’re a writer for even PR agencies or other people, gen AI has come a long way. It’s amazing what it can do. But I am not scared of it because I actually just see it as another tool in the tool belt because you’ll still need to evaluate the quality of what it generated and the accuracy. And I think that’s particularly true in healthcare where trust is at a premium. And so actually someone that knows how to use gen AI will be able to create better quality content quicker, but they’ll have their expertise on top of it to ensure the accuracy of what’s happening. But here’s a few use cases that I think we’re gonna see pretty quickly. In fact, we’re using some of them already today at Healthcare IT Today. So one is, okay, you’ve written all this content, but now I have to share it on social media. Gen AI is great for that because you’re taking your existing article and saying, pull from the article and give me some social media shares.

It generates it so quickly and often better than what you could do yourself. And then you’re sure, maybe you need to tweak a thing here or there, but it works so well for taking content and turning it into social media. So I think that’s an example. Another one we use, this is more on our podcast and video side, but it’s descriptions for YouTube and the podcasts. Writing those is just miserable, right? Like if you’re a YouTube person and creates videos, you don’t wanna go and write the description, the summary of what was said, because I don’t know, I mean, maybe there’s people that enjoy this, but for me, it’s redundant, boring. I already experienced the whole video. I don’t need to write it, but you need to because you need it for SEO on YouTube, et cetera. So it turns out you can take the transcript right from YouTube, give it to Gen AI and say, give me a summary, give me a YouTube summary. In fact, give me the text and give me the title. And that’s really interesting. In fact, that was another one that a lot of people are using to create unique headlines. In fact, if you work on your prompts, you can create some that are, for lack of a better term, clickbaity. It turns out clickbait works. We’ve proven that over and over. And people love to click on clickbait. That’s why it’s successful. But yeah, Gen AI is amazing at creating these headlines.

But sure, maybe you tweak it a little. Maybe you don’t accept all of it, right? But it’s amazing how much more creative it is than us. We often are skewed by whatever we experienced and maybe we’re tired or maybe the topic we’ve been through so much. And so it comes from stuff out of left field that you’re like, oh, actually, wow. Yeah, that’s special. You know, that’s interesting. That’s a way better title than I could do. The other thing that I think is interesting is actually similar to the doctor and patient. And that’s in the summary area. Sure, if you see a 5,000 word article, maybe you don’t have time to read it. But you could just say, hey, Gen AI, will you summarize this for me? And now you’ve read a summary. You know, it’s basically the CliffsNotes version of an article, but created on demand. I mean, I think anyone that was in high school understands the value of CliffsNotes. Well, we were able to do the same with long form content, with videos. Hey, just give me the highlights. What do I need to read? So I think that’s another interesting way that the readers of content are gonna be able to use it. And so, you know, anyway, but again, we’re at the beginning stages. Will, you know, I have to write an article ever again? Probably. But what I’ve found is Gen AI is best when you give it some content that’s already trusted, and it’s just massaging it into another format. So right now, I think that’s where I see most people using it, is rejiggering valuable content into different formats.

Nicole Guevara

Those are very great pointers. And especially for those who haven’t used generative AI for content creation yet, those are great pointers that you just use for the use cases. Let’s go ahead and talk about the impact of AI on patient care. From your perspective, how does generative AI impact the experience of patients, and what should providers consider when they use it?

John Lynn

Yeah, so this is a bit of a loaded question. So what’s interesting is this. I think that Dr. Chat GPT is putting Dr. Google out of business. Like, I mean, and obviously that is a big shift. I’ve seen it in my wife, who’s a second grade teacher. She shifted from asking Google to asking Chat GPT health questions, because the answers come back in a very different way. Now, to be fair, I think Google’s gonna incorporate some sort of gen AI with BARD and whatever else. I mean, Microsoft’s already done that in Bing, right? So maybe it will be Dr. Google eventually too. But it’s amazing how Chat GPT can help a patient, one, research what they need to about a disease, two, understand what their lab results are, understand what their diagnosis is, translate what the doctor’s saying into language that they can understand. And so that I think is the biggest change in perspective that we need to understand is that patients are going to use this. Just the way that patients use Dr. Google, for good, bad, or otherwise, they’re gonna use it, right? And there’s certainly downsides. Every doctor knows the patient that comes in and says, well, Dr. Google told me I’m gonna die in two days, right? And the doctor’s like, no, you have a cold. You’re gonna be fine. It’s okay, right? You know, like, but for every one of those, there’s 10 other stories where a patient was educated by Google. And now they’re gonna be educated by Chat GPT. Sure, there’s gonna be the outliers where they get bad information, where they didn’t. But in many ways, the bad information still forces a conversation.

As long as the patient goes to the doctor in a respectful way that says, hey, here’s what I found. And the doctor as well, right? There’s two parties in any exchange. And the doctor replies in a respectful way that says, hey, I respect that you studied this. Here’s the information and educates them on why that may be bad information. Or hey, let’s explore that. You know, like, that’s the key, right? The problem with Dr. Google and Dr. Chat GPT now is when you go into it without respect. And that’s on both sides. The patient respecting the doctor and the doctor respecting that the patient cares about their health as much or more than they do. So I think that’s one thing that’s interesting. And what’s gonna happen is patients are gonna come in more informed. They’re gonna come in with ideas, sure, but they’re also gonna be more educated on healthcare. You know, we’re not in the little house on the prairie days where, you know, Doc Baker comes to your house and he’s the only one that has information. And by the way, he didn’t have good information either. He was guessing what it was, right? Like patients are coming in informed and educated. Sure, not as educated as the doctor. So they need to respect that. But they are gonna come in with more information.

So that’s something you have to understand about this, that they’re going to be, they’re gonna come with more interest in what their care is, you know, gonna be provided, in what care is gonna be provided, and how they’re gonna be treated, and how what they’re experiencing is gonna be addressed. I think the other thing to think about from the provider perspective, from a doctor perspective, is they’re gonna have to learn how to make better prompts. Because ChatGPT, or whatever other generative AI tool they end up using, is going to actually enhance the care that they do, but they’re gonna have to learn how to make better prompts. Like, it’s interesting to think about, you know, how do you do it? Well, it turns out Google was the same. Not everyone’s created equal when it comes to searching Google for the right information. It’s even more so, I think, with ChatGPT. And you have to be a little more creative in how you do it. Simple example, you can add to your prompt, you know, with ChatGPT, hey, ChatGPT, if you don’t know the answer, tell me that you don’t know the answer. Don’t make one up, right? So even just something as simple as that, right? And there’s gonna be much more complicated things and powerful things that are gonna enhance the way doctors interact with generative AI tools.

But understanding and learning how to create these better prompts that get you the information you need is gonna be a powerful thing for providers, and it’s gonna set providers apart. In fact, I can already see the day where some providers go up to the prompt writing doctor who understands how to leverage it and says, hey, I’m trying to get this information, can you help? And they say, oh, you need to ask this and this. So, you know, we saw this happen before, right? You know, even back in the Hippocrates days with the Palm Pilots, right? They knew how to use it, and so then they tapped into it. So, you know, I would say, don’t be afraid of it. Start playing with it so you can experience what it is, because there is a learning curve to improving how you prompt generative AI to give you what you want.

Nicole Guevara

Those are some great tips and tricks to use generative AI, especially when it comes to respecting it and practicing your prompts. We also saw in your podcast, talking about generative AI and how it affects caregivers and patients. Can you share how it has made a difference in how doctors and patients work together, especially when making decisions?

John Lynn

Yeah, I think, you know, it goes back to patients being more educated, right? And so I think that really is the key. And so, you know, as you look at it, like it’s going to be a massive change for doctors and patients. It’s going to be implemented slowly, right? Like not everyone’s going to adopt it immediately. So some patients are going to use it, some aren’t. So that’s going to, you know, change it. But when it comes to making decisions, I think what’s interesting is that doctors are going to want more patient data to inform the gen AI. They’re going to want as much information as possible so that the generative AI can be as effective as possible.

So whereas before doctors are like, I’m overwhelmed, I can’t take more data. What do I do with it? Am I responsible for it? Am I liable for it? That’s going to change with gen AI because gen AI loves the data and becomes more accurate the more data it has, especially if it’s quality health data. And so, you know, they’re going to actually demand more data from the patients in order for the gen AI to perform better so that then they can make better decisions.

And luckily there’s going to be a wave of wearables and sensors that are going to help with this as well. And so, you know, I think that’s what we should watch for is this shift from doctors saying, no, I don’t want your wearable data, which by the way, the wearable data is often not medically relevant, which is often why they don’t want it, but it’s going to be. We already see that with, you know, the Apple watch and a lot of the rings that are there. And, you know, there’s even invisible stuff using the video to get your health data from the video, which is absolutely insane to think about, but there’s a change in color because of the bloodstream and it can see the flow, you know, through the video, which is absolutely amazing. All of that data is going to help inform the doctor in the decisions they make. And so they’re actually going to ask for more data rather than less.

Nicole Guevara

You’re very right. And that actually segues us to my next question is about generative AI and healthcare in general. With the rapid advances in healthcare technology, how do you think generative AI will contribute to future innovation of medical devices and diagnostics? What do you see in the future, John?

John Lynn

Yeah, so, I mean, I think it’s interesting because does a medical device have to be a device? Like, I think that’s the question we’re going to start asking ourselves. Like, do I actually need a medical device or is, you know, there’s something called digital therapeutics, which has been around for a while. It’s even FDA cleared some of the digital therapeutics, although those companies have had a hard time finding business models, but that’s kind of a topic for another day. But these digital therapeutics don’t really have a device other than your cell phone maybe, or some connection that way. And so, you know, your cell phone, is that a medical device?

Not really, it’s not regulated that way, right? And won’t be, you know, there’s no way the device manufacturers of mobile phones, smartphones are going to let that happen, right? But many of these medical devices, if you will, are going to be virtual. And so, I think that’s where it’s going to be interesting to see is, okay, what does that mean for us? How do we regulate something like that? Does the FDA know how to regulate something like that? What are the risks associated with it? But it’s also powerful. Think about it internationally. If you have no care, no diagnosis, no doctors near you, that, you know, you can see, well, guess what? A digital medical device is awesome and can provide great care. So I think that’s really going to be amazing internationally, especially in the poorer areas that don’t have the healthcare that we have, that we take for granted here in the US, you know, it’s going to be a powerful thing. So I guess that the first thing is that we’re going to see a plethora of medical devices that are really just for us. And so we’re going to have to grapple with, what does that mean? I mean, if I’m getting all of your vitals through video, that could be a medical device that’s going to analyze, you know, your ECG or other information.

So I think that’s one thing to look at. As far as diagnostics, I think that’s going to be interesting to see evolve. For sure right now, there’s a common word in anything generative AI that says, we are just the co-pilot. You know, gen AI does not want to be the pilot. No company wants to take on that risk. They want to continue giving the risk and liability to the doctor who has the license and has the education to do it. But they are going to be the co-pilot to help in diagnostics, to help in, you know, other areas as well. Of course, the administrative burden of documentation, et cetera. And so for now it’s co-pilot, but is that going to evolve and how will that evolve? It seems like there’s some basic things with diagnostics that should evolve. No doctor wants to catch a cold. I remember I sliced my foot one time. I went into the urgent care and I was talking to the doctor that was there and she was stitching up my foot. And I said, thanks for doing this. I appreciate it. She said, oh no, thank you. I’m so excited to have something different than a cold and a cough. It’s like, she didn’t want to diagnose that anymore.

She wanted to do something that was more interesting that used her skills and talents and abilities. And so, you know, I think we’ll see how that evolves. But I will say this, when we look at the diagnostics, I think Gen AI is going to be incredible for the edge cases. You know, it’s pattern matching when you look at what doctors do. They’re looking for patterns. They’re looking for clues based on their previous experience and their understanding of the body. And what Gen AI is good at is when that pattern doesn’t quite match and maybe there’s an edge case with some little data point that the doctor didn’t recognize, maybe. Maybe they even knew it, but they just didn’t see it because there’s so much data in front of them. Gen AI is going to be better for those edge cases that the doctor might’ve missed or might not have seen it right away. And so that’s what gets me excited on the diagnostic part. Gen AI is a second opinion to watch for those edge cases. And I think that will be powerful.

Nicole Guevara

You’re absolutely right. Because sometimes we have to scour through peer reviewed journals for those case studies that have those edge cases. But with generative AI, it’s right in your fingertips that data and that information is. So looking ahead, John, what excites you the most about the future intersection of generative AI in healthcare?

John Lynn

Yeah, so I would simply say it this way. We’re seeing this explosion of creativity. And that’s what makes Gen AI so exciting is that when Gen AI came out, everyone looked at it and said, oh, could I use it for this? Could I use it for that? Could I use it for this? Could I use it? Every single health IT company saw it and said, how should I be implementing this in my solution? I can see ways that my users will benefit if I roll this out. And that’s what makes it different than say, you know, crypto, blockchain stuff, right? Everyone saw blockchain and said, I get distributed, kind of makes sense. I get a secure, trusted, immutable record, which kind of makes sense. But I’m not sure how to use that, right? Like, so it kind of died right there. A few people are using it and maybe using some edge cases. But when Gen AI came on the scene and showed us what was possible, it was really about the interface.

The interface was so easy and produced a near human result in many cases. Everyone saw that and said, wow, I can use these 10 different ways to help enhance my products, to help enhance my life. And so that is what is the most exciting thing for me with Gen AI is not even what we’ve implemented yet, but it’s the fact that it allowed people to say, you know what, maybe AI is real, and I can implement it today to solve many of the problems that vex healthcare. And so that’s why I say we’ve seen this explosion of creativity, thanks to Gen AI, that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. They would have continued on their path. They would have, you know, I mean, here’s an example. I went to an EHR user conference, not one mention of AI in the entire keynote. Six months later, I went to another one of their events with their users. It was a, you know, a subgroup. And the entire two hours was about how they’d implemented Gen AI into their product. It literally hijacked the entire development process for that EHR vendor for those six months because they could see the power of what was possible. And so to me, that’s what’s most exciting.

Nicole Guevara

Absolutely, that is very true. With it being so friendly for the users, there’s so much potential and opportunities that could be done with it. So before we close, what is your last advice that you would give a healthcare professional to handle, to best handle this transformative journey?

John Lynn

Yeah, so, you know, it’s interesting to look at it. And I’ve been through this cycle as a tech person myself. You want to be on the cutting edge, but you don’t want to be cut, right? So, you know, this is the interesting balance you have when you deal with technology is like, hey, I need to be involved in what’s happening, but how do I make sure I don’t fall off the cliff in the process? But I would, so what I would suggest to people is take part in what’s happening. Sure, you can do it in a conservative way, but there’s no way for you to be educated on what’s happening watching from the sidelines. You got to get your hands in there and get dirty, even if it’s in a safe environment with some, you know, not necessarily in full production, right? Doing pilots, whatever it might be, you need to get your hands dirty with it so you can understand what’s really happening, what its strengths are and what its weaknesses are. Because if you’re just sitting on the sidelines and figuring, oh, our EHR vendor will implement it or someone else will implement it, you’re not going to know what to tell the EHR vendor they need to implement.

So you have to get your hands dirty a little bit and test out some of what’s being done and see what the potential is because then you’ll be surprised once you start using it, you come up with all sorts of other ideas. And you don’t get that from sitting on the sidelines, just watching what other people are doing. So that would be my suggestion: find some projects where you can use it, where you can test it out, where you can see how it works and then analyze, oh, it’s great at this and it’s awful at this. And if you do that, then you take that information and you’ll be set up and ready to adopt it once it is mature. But if you just sit on the sidelines, then when it’s mature, you’ll be like, oh, should I do this? And you don’t have the understanding, the culture of what’s going to happen when you implement it. So, you know, get in there, play around with it, test it and be curious about what it can do. And then you’ll be ready for it as it continues to mature.

Nicole Guevara

That’s a very good tip. Active participation and understanding, you know, what works for you and what doesn’t work for you is great and could lead to future involvement with other AI projects within a healthcare organization. Thank you so much, John. My next, my last question is, you know, given your breadth and your background, do you want to give a quick shout out to what you do, promote your platforms, tell us more about your organization, anything, you know, an elevator pitch about what you do and what your platforms are about and just getting more readers into your own platforms.

John Lynn

I appreciate that. And yeah, I mean, luckily we share a lot of free content, you know, that everyone can check out. I like to say, if you’ve searched Health IT on Google, you’ve probably found us at one point or another since I think we’re up to, you know, 16 and a half thousand articles and 600 podcasts, but yeah, go to healthcareittoday.com. You can subscribe to the email newsletter that goes out daily. You can also, you know, search for Healthcare IT Today on your favorite podcasting applications. We actually have three podcasts, the Healthcare IT Today, the interviews, and a CIO podcast. It’s all CIOs from hospitals and health systems. So definitely, you know, like and subscribe as the kids say these days. You know, we have a YouTube channel as well you can do.

And then on the Sway Health side of things, that’s Sway with two As. Sway.Health is our healthcare marketing community. So if you’re a marketer trying to get, you know, your health IT solution into the market, or if you’re a marketer at a hospital or health system, definitely go to sway.health and subscribe to the newsletter. Again, we have similar things there. You can go to the YouTube channel, social media channels as well. Yeah, to check it out there. And we also have the Sway.Health Conference, which happens in May. Amazing community of healthcare marketers that come together and realize how hard it is to market in healthcare. I mean, it really is a challenging thing. So it’s an incredible community of people to come together and learn, share, commiserate, and have some fun. You know, someone told me that one time. They said, John, I knew you were involved. So I knew I’d learn something. I’d meet amazing people and I’d have some fun. And I was like, wow, that is a good combo. And I appreciate you saying that because that is my goal.

Nicole Guevara

Well, thank you, John. It was an absolute pleasure talking to you. Thank you for joining us today and sharing your insights on healthcare technology. I hope your generative AI and healthcare knowledge will help providers transform their care services. John, we just wish you the best of success in your journey to educating millions through your blogs and advisory services. Thank you so much.

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About the Guest

Author

John Lynn linkedin

John Lynn is a versatile and visionary blogger, editor, and founder of the websites HealthcareScene and Healthcare IT Today. His exceptional knowledge and expertise in healthcare IT, especially EMRs, have helped him generate a wealth of experience in marketing, SEO, and social media. Currently, he manages over 25 highly trafficked blogs.

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