Posted on 28 Nov, 2023 in

News

The Slow Death of the Fax Machine: How AI is Transforming Healthcare.

Fax machines have persisted in healthcare even as most other industries have transitioned to digital communication. But that may soon change thanks to new AI technology that promises to eliminate the tedious paper-pushing that burdens doctors and medical staff.

We recently sat down with the enigmatic John Stanley, host of 2GB radio, to discuss the use of fax machines in healthcare and how generative AI can transform these legacy paper-based systems, automate administrative workflows and give clinicians time back in their day.

Around 80% of hospitals in Australia still rely on archaic fax machines. These machines handle critical communications like referrals, lab results, and patient reports. Processing these documents manually bogs staff down for 10-15 minutes per document on average.

To tackle this inefficiency, the team at Consultmed developed an AI assistant called Consultpilot AI that leverages Microsoft’s generative AI. By simply dragging and dropping a handwritten or scanned document into the Consultpilot AI system, it can instantly interpret and digitize the information – reducing document processing down to an average of 35-36 seconds.

The AI cannot diagnose health conditions or recommend treatments on its own. But by handling repetitive administrative work like form-filling, it frees up doctors, nurses, and hospital staff to spend less time “pin pushing” and more time applying their expertise caring for patients at the bedside. This is welcome relief given high levels of clinician burnout exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic workforce shortages.

The AI assistant functions as a “copilot”, processing digitization and data entry but still requiring human review before signing off. Much like autopilots have been used – with human oversight – to make aviation more efficient for decades.

By helping to eliminate inefficient analog technology like fax machines with modern AI document processing, the healthcare industry may finally get the digital boost it needs. Our partnership with Microsoft and the application of an enterprise Azure license means that our use of generative AI in is compliant, secure and robust for an Australian healthcare setting.

Catch a snippet of this insightful conversation and see how Consultmed is paving the way to a future with more patient-focused and less paper-driven healthcare!

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