Kyndryl executive Rajesh Jaluka discusses artificial intelligence’s growing impact on healthcare and the future of technological integration

As technology advances, artificial intelligence's role in healthcare is becoming increasingly important, offering better diagnoses, administrative efficiencies and patient support, while tackling staffing shortages and supply chain issues. However, integrating AI into healthcare systems is tricky work — challenges range from data biases and ethical concerns to government regulations. 

“The development and use of AI in healthcare is promising,” said Rajesh Jaluka, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. healthcare and government market at Kyndryl. “It has the power to bring innovation to drug discoveries or surgeries but also to accelerate claim processing and improve clinical workflows for healthcare providers.”

Here, Jaluka shares insights on the state of AI in healthcare, obstacles to AI adoption and how these technological advancements will affect the industry.

What is the state of AI in healthcare?

The focus among healthcare CIOs currently leans toward leveraging AI in administrative areas rather than direct patient care, largely due to perceived risks and uncertainties. There's an emphasis on how AI can improve operational efficiencies like claim processing, nurse education and automate workflows.

How can AI streamline hospital administrative processes?

One significant area where AI can benefit healthcare organizations is in the supply chain. AI can automate approval processes, facilitate electronic procurement and improve inventory management. Additionally, AI can play a crucial role in managing controlled substances by utilizing digital verification to prevent theft and misuse. AI-powered voice recognition can streamline the documentation process for electronic health records (EHR), where doctors spend time inputting data. Automating these tasks not only enhances efficiency but also minimizes errors and lowers the risk of possible fraud.

Staffing shortages and burnout are pressing issues in healthcare. How can AI help address this problem?

With AI significantly reducing the administrative burden on healthcare professionals, doctors and nurses will have more time to focus on patient care. AI can also assist in preoperative evaluations by automating questionnaires tailored to individual patient conditions, reducing time and the potential for missing critical information. When paperwork and organizational tasks can be reduced, each staff member's workload becomes more manageable and helps mitigate hospital staffing shortages.

What are some of the challenges hospitals face in adopting AI?

The biggest hurdle is the cost. Hospitals operate on thin margins, and while the long-term benefits of AI are clear, the initial investment can be substantial. Another reason is that each hospital has unique systems and challenges that necessitate tailored AI solutions, making it difficult to implement broad, one-size-fits-all AI applications.

How is Kyndryl helping healthcare providers modernize IT estates?

Kyndryl’s expertise lies in setting up IT environments, installing applications, integrating with EHR systems, setting up a data pipeline and providing end-to-end IT support. We're making headway with many of our large customers by leveraging our strengths in systems integration and scaling solutions.

Also, governance is an area in which Kyndryl can provide immense value. Many healthcare institutions are in the early stages of developing comprehensive governance structures for AI, and Kyndryl can aid in setting up frameworks for policy, compliance and ethical AI use, supporting innovative and responsible advancements in AI healthcare.

Rajesh Jaluka

Vice President, CTO, U.S. Healthcare and Government Market

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