Now hiring? Healthcare execs say AI will lead to more job opportunities

The continued evolution of AI will lead to more job opportunities in the healthcare industry, according to new survey of high-ranking executives. Investments in AI and the implementation of AI-focused strategies are both also on the rise.  

The survey was conducted by Optum, a healthcare technology company that is a part of UnitedHealth Group. Responses came from 500 executives representing hospitals, health insurance providers, life sciences organizations and employers from throughout the industry.

While a majority—52%––of respondents said they expect AI to create more job opportunities, 87% agreed with the idea that experience with AI is a top priority when making hiring decisions. In addition, 89% of respondents don’t think employees are currently being trained to use AI quickly enough.

Optum’s survey also found that investments in AI are up significantly compared to just one year ago. Investments are escalating, with respondents reporting an average net increase of $7.3 million compared to 2018, and 9 in 10 leaders who responded to the survey said they are confident they’ll see a return on AI-related investments earlier than they had previously believed.

Also, 62% of respondents indicated that their organizations have implemented an AI strategy, up 88% compared to 2018.

“These findings validate that AI is vital to holistically transform health care,” Dan Schumacher, president and chief operating officer of Optum, said in a prepared statement. “It’s encouraging to see executives’ growing trust in, and adoption of, AI to make data more actionable in making the health system work better for everyone.”

“In order to transform and modernize the U.S. health system through the power of AI, it is critical that organizations invest in developing talent throughout the enterprise to solve health care’s most complex challenges,” Steve Griffiths, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Optum Enterprise Analytics, said in the same statement.

Data for the second annual OptumIQ Survey on AI in Health Care was collected from Aug. 19 to Sept. 3, 2019. A fact sheet about the survey is available on Optum’s website.