The Consumer Technology Association’s Consumer Electronics Show 2024 provided the platform for leaders to discuss and demonstrate how their technological advances are driving responsiveness in their industries. As president and CEO of Elevance Health, Gail Boudreaux is a healthcare industry leader, operating in a captivating era of evolution, where technology and healthcare converge.
“Data is the fabric of how we actually make progress,” Boudreaux said. Elevance Health harnesses the power of data with creativity to develop digital technologies and advanced applications to create more proactive and personalized healthcare solutions that help improve health outcomes.
During her keynote presentation, Boudreaux spoke about the opportunities within healthcare to leverage digital technologies and data-driven insights to drastically improve the healthcare system and help people lead healthier lives. These are four highlights from Boudreaux’s keynote address:
1. Always Remember — People Are at the Heart of Everything
When developing and applying digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, Elevance Health applies human-centered design to empathetically understand people’s needs and address their challenges holistically. New, innovative digital capabilities and advanced applications are developed by Elevance Health and integrated into administrative and service delivery functions through Elevance Health’s affiliated health plans to empower their members.
One way to improve member health is to give as much support as possible to members and to those who make a difference in members’ lives. Digital technologies and advanced applications empower Elevance Health’s affiliated health plans’ nurses, case managers, and other associates to deliver higher quality healthcare services so members can better manage their health. A few examples of how that helps:
- Improving Maternal Health Outcomes: Data-driven insights produced through Elevance Health’s concierge care program aim to address the United States’ serious maternal health concerns. Early enrollment in these digital care management programs leads to a significantly higher rate of prenatal and postpartum care compliance.
- Reducing Hospital Readmissions: Digital capabilities enable Elevance Health’s affiliated health plans to be notified the moment a member is admitted to the hospital, identify members who are at high risk for a readmission, and provide 24-hour support from a care manager. These capabilities help reduce hospital readmissions, including a reduction in 90-day readmissions.
2. Increase Personalization at Every Opportunity, Even Those That Seem Small
Data-driven insights can be used ethically and equitably to simplify, connect, and personalize healthcare. One way to use those insights is during member calls, to increase the impact on members’ health.
AI technology quickly summarizes a member’s historical data so when outreach occurs, discussing the member’s most pressing needs is the priority. The ability to leverage data-driven insights during member calls makes each interaction more effective and efficient.
When an Elevance Health associate speaks to one of the affiliated health plan members by phone, AI technology responsibly runs in the background, suggesting wording or approaches to help the associate present information in a manner most likely to meet the member’s communication style and preferences. AI technology also leverages data to suggest educational materials relevant to the member for the associate to offer in real-time.
3. Leverage Your Strengths to Support Others
Technology solutions can also help with connecting members to the health services they need.
- Determining Coverage Eligibility: As regulations enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic began to expire, an estimated 15 million people faced losing their coverage when Medicaid renewals restarted.
Many people who may lose Medicaid coverage feel confused and worried about what to do next. Elevance Health created an easy-to-use website that provides personalized guidance on current benefits eligibility — including health insurance coverage and other benefits like food, childcare, and transportation — and directs individuals to the relevant websites where they can enroll.
- Increasing Online Access: With so many healthcare access options moving online, the millions of people across the country who lack adequate internet connectivity and access to technology fall further behind. An innovative program to close this digital divide evolved from Elevance Health’s groundbreaking cross-industry alliance with major wireless carriers and Samsung, with funding from the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
Members in Elevance Health’s affiliated health plans without adequate internet connectivity and who have a qualifying medical need are eligible to receive a smartphone that includes a custom interface preloaded with health apps, links to resources, and benefits based on members’ health needs. Educational materials designed to increase digital literacy and build familiarity with these resources are provided.
4. Above All, Use AI Responsibly in Every Application
When the French author Voltaire wrote “With great power comes great responsibility” in the 1700s, he could not have known how relevant those words would be today. Artificial intelligence, data mining, and insight capabilities are powerful tools that must be respected and used responsibility to benefit and protect the people we serve.
“As encouraging and exciting as technology is, particularly AI, it’s only going to move at the speed of trust in healthcare and that’s really important,” Boudreaux said. Elevance Health does not lose sight of the power, purpose, and impact AI can have on people before, during, and after solutions are implemented. To that end, the company formed its own office of responsible AI to address both the unique opportunities and the challenges found at the intersection of health equity and technology.
The office of responsible AI operates inclusively, rigorously testing and validating solutions, to ensure everyone has fair and just opportunities to be healthy. It maintains all process documentation to support transparency, robustly securing data to protect consumers and complying with all federal and state regulations. The office works to ensure the appropriate partners, including privacy, compliance, information security, technology, and data science are included in the process.
As a leader in healthcare, Elevance Health embraces the power of data and new technology like AI responsibly, seeking out innovative ways to solve today’s most complex healthcare challenges.