By Tejasvi Singh, Head – Doctor Growth & Retention at HealthPlix Technologies
With a population of 7 billion people today, imagine the daunting task of manually sifting through physical documents. Our eyes can process around 30 to 60 frames per second and roughly 150-200 words per minute. However, in this digital era, managing physical documents without any technological assistance can be incredibly tedious.
This is where Optical Character Recognition (OCR), powered by artificial intelligence (AI), can help. It involves taking images of text and converting them into formats that machines can read. In simpler terms, OCR transforms handwritten or typed text from physical documents into digital records.
Digital records have become invaluable in the healthcare industry as well. There are numerous advantages to embracing cutting-edge technologies such as OCR. Three significant benefits are making health information available, accessible, and discoverable.
Making healthcare information digitally ready for doctors in India is one of the key requirements. For instance, a patient with diabetes visits a doctor at least 6 times a year with potential changes in health conditions. It will be tedious for the doctor to go through all the physical lab reports at every visit. However, an AI-powered OCR can scan these reports in minutes and populate the vitals in a manner that is easily digestible. Moreover, these reports can be accessed digitally during future visits.
Traditional document digitization systems like OCR, when coupled with AI, achieve greater success in data capture and extraction. Healthcare professionals can access this new technology for better decision-making and improved patient care at lower costs. This can be a boon for emerging economies like India.
Making health information easily searchable by digitizing the records can drive quality outcomes. In the physical format, it might be difficult for a doctor to access records of patients with similar health traits. On the other hand, by using an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) platform, supported by AI-OCR, doctors can easily discover specific cohorts of patients via a keyword search.
Recent advancements in AI have enhanced the use of OCR by improving its accuracy and speed. By automating the data entry process, AI-OCR reduces the time required to input data into EMRs. As the volume of health records continues to increase, modern technologies like OCR can help meet the increasing demands of the industry.