In today’s fast-paced healthcare industry, efficient inventory management can improve patient care and cost savings. This article explores how integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can revolutionize healthcare inventory management, ensuring that hospitals and healthcare facilities run smoothly, save on operational costs, and provide the best patient experience.

In a recent conversation, Jerry Abiog, CEO and co-founder of Standard Insights, discussed the potential of AI and RFID in transforming healthcare inventory management. Let’s delve into the highlights of the session.

AI’s potential in healthcare inventory management

Jerry Abiog emphasized the democratization of AI and RFID technology, drawing a parallel with how flat-screen TVs became more affordable. He highlighted the importance of making advanced technology accessible to all sectors, including healthcare. Reflecting on his experience over the last 30 years, he pointed out the challenges businesses face today, such as labor shortages, rising interest rates, and strikes. He stressed the need for forward-thinking and adaptability in healthcare, highlighting the importance of embracing technology to overcome these challenges. He defined artificial intelligence concisely as getting a computer to think and act like a human. He mentioned that AI has been part of our daily lives for years, particularly on platforms like Amazon and Netflix. However, the recent rise of Chat GPT has brought AI to the forefront by enabling forward-looking perspectives using predictive and prescriptive analytics. He distinguished between business intelligence (BI) and AI, stressing that while most healthcare institutions rely on ERP systems for tracking, only AI can provide forward-looking insights. ERP systems offer historical data, but AI uses predictive and prescriptive analytics to make future predictions, helping healthcare organizations plan for future needs. He points out AI’s role in making macro-level predictions addressing challenges such as labor shortages in healthcare. He illustrated this with a hypothetical scenario involving a distributor with an extensive product range serving multiple hospitals. AI can analyze buying patterns and predict inventory needs, reducing the cost of labor and increasing efficiency. He cited studies by McKinsey and Bain, highlighting that AI-driven personalized recommendations can boost sales by up to 15%.

Additionally, increasing repeat business by as little as 5% can significantly improve profitability. By effectively integrating AI and RFID, healthcare institutions can enhance their revenue through targeted and personalized recommendations. Data is often called the new oil, and AI thrives on data. RFID plays a crucial role in data collection in healthcare, where vendors deal with vast data. By harnessing this data, AI can help individualize recommendations, driving sales and growth for healthcare institutions. AI and RFID technology in healthcare are relatively new and about selling a vision. He encouraged healthcare institutions to begin with small steps and not attempt to “boil the ocean.” The focus is on demonstrating the potential of AI and personalized, predictive recommendations, taking it one step at a time. In response to a question about AI’s accuracy, Jerry explained that AI’s accuracy depends on the data quality and improves over time. AI technology becomes smarter as it accumulates more data and learns from past interactions. He drew a parallel with Chat GPT, stating that AI improves over time, like any technology. While it may have limitations initially, continuous improvement is the norm in the technology world, making it more accurate and effective as it evolves.

RFID’s potential in healthcare inventory management

Jerry Abiog acknowledged the significance of RFID technology in tracking inventory within the healthcare supply chain. He clarified that the focus was not on patient data but on efficiently monitoring the movement of medical supplies. By combining RFID technology with AI, organizations can accurately track and analyze the data for predictive insights. He emphasized the importance of gaining in-depth information from data. He explained that their company, Standard Insights, is named after this very concept.

Extracting meaningful insights from data is at the core of their approach to healthcare inventory management. He discussed how combining RFID technology with AI can dramatically lower labor costs. By accurately measuring inventory through RFID and applying AI algorithms, healthcare institutions can predict product usage. This prevents stockouts and ensures excess inventory doesn’t tie up valuable resources. He assured that their company offers POCs for healthcare institutions to test the technology with their software and proprietary systems. They want users to test the technology with their employees to ensure it aligns with their needs and preferences. Data cleanliness is a significant challenge in healthcare inventory management. While organizations often believe their data is clean, data may require some sorting out before it can be effectively used with AI technology. Jerry highlighted the importance of securing buy-in from both top-line leadership and frontline employees. He stressed that a project’s success is limited without the support and engagement of employees using the technology in their daily operations.

Jerry Abiog shared some valuable thoughts around the idea that healthcare companies can address their challenges by embracing technology, particularly AI and RFID. By democratizing technology and using it to analyze data, organizations can optimize their inventory management, anticipate future needs, and navigate the complexities of the healthcare supply chain more effectively.In summary, Jerry Abiog stressed on the impact of AI and RFID on healthcare inventory management. From gaining valuable information from the data to making precise predictions and personalized recommendations, this technology fusion optimizes inventory and contributes to healthcare institutions’ overall growth and profitability. The healthcare industry can benefit significantly from embracing these technologies to stay competitive and efficient in a rapidly evolving landscape.