Jun 12, 2023 - Economy

Tech chips away at pain points for health care providers

Illustration of a hand in a doctor's coat stopping a dollar EKG line

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Health care’s labor shortage is adding new urgency to the need for new tech.

Why it matters: Americans 65 and older, those most in need of health care services, are expected to outnumber children in the U.S. for the first time by 2030 — just as the health care sector is expected to have a shortfall of more than 200,000 physicians and nurses.

State of play: Carbon Health, a primary care startup, is using AI to write notes during patient appointments, one of the most time-intensive tasks for physicians.

  • Tempus, a precision medicine company, has rolled out its Tempus One voice and text assistant for clinicians that uses generative AI to retrieve and access patient data.
  • Gig work apps dedicated to staffing nurses have attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in funding.
  • Major retailers, including Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy and CVS, have pushed into digital and virtual health products and services.

Reality check: Technology cannot solve the major issues slowing down worker replacement, such as lack of residency slots and expensive training and education.

  • And existing shortages were further strained by the COVID pandemic, which drove record levels of burnout and caused many to leave their roles.
  • Trainees are now looking for “alternative career paths” and “a diversity of experiences” that can help them make impacts beyond hospitals and academic research, Vin Gupta, a pulmonologist and Amazon Pharmacy’s chief medical officer, told Axios recently in an interview.

What we're watching: Whether tech integration can win the favor of patients.

  • Perception of digital experiences — scheduling, registration, payments — is getting worse, results from a late 2022 survey of patients and providers from Experian Health show.

Go deeper

Go deeper