Today in the chart

Healthcare AI: Who Is in the Driver’s Seat?

Whatever the future of healthcare and AI is, nurses can see it on display at ViVe 2025!

Do you feel like the tech revolution is happening all around you, but nurses are getting left behind? You’re not alone. Whether or not we are prepared for it, technology feels like it pulls us into the future. This has happened with every significant change or innovation: telephones, the internet, smartphones, and now artificial intelligence (AI).  

AI is poised to transform healthcare, but many AI tools are designed by people with little bedside experience. This can lead to solutions that don’t address the realities of nursing work.

Healthcare will need involved clinicians who are comfortable and knowledgeable with technology to ensure health outcomes, advanced medical discoveries, and overall efficiencies happen with the best intentions for patients and staff. 

One of the best places to experience what technology is coming to healthcare is the ViVe conference by CHIME and HLTH. ViVe is where healthcare providers, clinicians, and organizations meet technology companies offering various products and services. In addition, it allows attendees to network and be in rooms listening to experts share thoughts on our industry.

With this type of venue, AI will be the big topic that gets brought up over and over in all aspects of the conference, from breakout sessions to the exhibitor floor. One of my favorite sessions that put all this together was called “Fishing for Functionality: Putting AI to Practical Work - The Game Show!” Hosted by Mike Mosquito with Speakers Lisa Grisim of Standford Children’s and Chris Paravate of Northeast Ga. Health System. The goal of the game show was to have contestants come on stage and ask questions about how AI can be better utilized in everyday work or health systems. 

Attendees discussed the importance of predictive patient data that provide readmission risk scores or chatbots that allow patients to speak to someone quickly about their health needs. Many also talked about the importance of ambient computing. The promise of this technology is its possibility of freeing providers from the burden of writing notes after a patient visit. They can be present and focused on their patients instead of stuck typing behind a computer.

While many new technologies promise change for patients, clinicians, providers, and health systems, many do not have nurses as founders, board members, or leaders. Their About Us pages are full of tech experts, physicians, and Chief Medical Officers (CMO) galore. While healthcare benefits from an interdisciplinary-collaborative approach, our devices and technology do not receive the same treatment. They are born through the lens of MDs and investors. 

So, where are the nurses in this AI boom?

Here are two examples of nurse-founded companies utilizing AI today to improve patient care and hospital efficiencies.

ThriveLink, a company founded by Kwamane D. Liddell, JD, MHA, BSN, helps patients sign up for healthcare insurance, utilities, assistant programs, etc., via phone call. They call a specialty line and speak with a chatbot that allows them to complete these applications. I spent time at ViVe hanging out with Kwamane, and he imparted to me the importance of what he and his created because it reduces the barrier to vital programs. Literacy and computer skills alone prevent people from signing up for programs, but the barrier increases when you add how time-intensive these applications can be. ThriveLink created a platform where people can call and easily get their needs met. 

When I spoke to Kwamane about how his company fits into this booming landscape, he replied, “ThriveLink was designed by nurses to take administrative work off our plate. Applications for social programs like health insurance, food stamps, and utility assistance are time-consuming and impossible for millions of patients to access on their own. 

For example, four million children lost Medicaid coverage last year simply because their parents weren't able to complete the applications. Our artificial intelligence eliminates that administrative barrier for patients and care teams today.”

Whether or not we are prepared for it, technology feels like it pulls us into the future.

His words and company ethos exemplify the value and usefulness that healthcare AI companies should model if their goals are to improve patients’ lives. I’m not alone in this opinion, as ThriveLink recently won the 2024 American Nurses Association Innovation Award; an honor my business partner Joey Ferry and I also won in 2020 for our SafeSeizure product. We are honored to be in the same winners’ circle as Kwamane and his team.

DropStat, is focused on providing predictive staffing for health systems. Giving them data on the correct number of staff needed at any time within an organization. Founded by Sara Well, CEO, who has over 12 years of nursing experience, DropStat is bringing artificial intelligence to staffing logistics. This corner of healthcare was previously solely based on patient acuity and the number of staff available that day. DropStat looks at a health system’s entire labor pool and suggests the most efficient staffing model that day and into the future. As most health systems deal with more and more nurses leaving due to retirement or opportunities away from the bedside, DropStat’s technology is the right solution at the right time. 

As we have nurses solving staffing issues, we must remember the importance of nurses getting breaks during their shifts. A newer company working to integrate AI into its software stack is BreakAlgo, a company co-founded by Alex Whitefield, MSN, RN, who had a booth at the Nurse Innovation Pavillion at ViVe. Their current goal is to make sure healthcare workers get the rest and meal breaks they deserve and are legally entitled to. Staff enter their start time, and based on local laws, it creates a grid of who should take a meal and/or rest break. This dashboard gives charge nurses and management visibility to see break compliance across their teams quickly. 

As Alex and his team worked on improving their software, he mentioned there was room to integrate AI. On a recent phone call, Alex stated, “We look forward to integrating AI into our platform to help streamline decision-making, increase operational learning, and ultimately increase breaks for healthcare workers.” With their potential visibility into who takes breaks and when they do, BreakAlgo’s potential value adds to health systems and improves with each iteration. 

All of this technology is iterative and changes at such a dynamic pace it is unwise to make definitive statements on the overall impact on healthcare and the larger society. I know that nurses need to be in leadership positions as these products and ideas go from idea to implementation. Hippocratic AI has a nurse board to help guide the software they build. That board’s input helped shape their healthcare agents to assist with follow-up care for discharged patients or those with chronic conditions. This is the approach to making long-term collaborative change. 

Whatever the future of healthcare and AI is, nurses can see it on display at ViVe 2025!

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