Why the future of AI excites this orthopedic surgeon

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David Garelick, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon at the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute in Chicago. He recently shared with Becker'shis thoughts on current and future trends in orthopedics and healthcare.

Editor's note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length. 

Question: What are you most proud of from the last year?

Dr. David Garelick: I am most proud of the AI initiative we are starting in our practice. In April of this year, while brainstorming with some tech folks in San Francisco, I identified our call center as one of the issues that we most struggle with in our practice. One thing led to another, and my partners and I teamed up with Assort Health, a tech startup, to develop an AI platform to handle incoming calls to our call center. We have just launched the pilot, and so far so good. This is super exciting and may be a way in which we can more efficiently and more cost-effectively handle incoming patient calls to our practice.  

Q: What are the biggest trends you're following in healthcare right now?

DG: With a looming cut in medicare reimbursement (and stagnant reimbursements over the years) along with the ever-increasing cost of doing business, we physicians are going to have to develop a better business model to survive. If we are to continue to attract high-quality talent in medicine, this challenge will need to be addressed in a meaningful, thoughtful, and productive manner.

Q: What are you excited about for 2024?

DG: I am excited to see how AI will continue to impact how we practice medicine in 2024. In talking with my tech colleagues, they have never seen anything evolve so quickly. While innovation is important, as physicians, we are going to have to monitor this closely and make sure the appropriate "guardrails" are in place. More locally, we are opening a physician-owned surgery center that will also change many ways in which we practice. All super exciting things in 2024.

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