Putting AI and cloud computing to work automating hardware maintenance

Add hardware maintenance to the list of IT tasks that artificial intelligence can improve upon for hospitals and other organizations. 

The technologies are planting early roots in a number of areas within the healthcare industry, from radiology and pathology to medical device security to specific treatment regimens, much the way Mount Sinai, for instance, is using AI and analytics to treat patients with kidney disease in a partnership with RenalytixAI or Tampa General’s partnership with GE Healthcare to build an AI command center focused on quality and experience improvements. 

The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, meanwhile, recently deployed cloud-based AI services to more effectively maintain its hardware.

Andrew Mosio, assistant director of technology at UI Health said the new subscription, ParkView from Park Place Technologies, is "going to change how things are done here."

Mosio said the cloud-based approach offers a remote service that can be integrated with existing maintenance plans — and it applies machine learning algorithms to identify hardware faults remotely then helps diagnose them. 

The platform, in fact, can sniff out hardware faults in networking, server and storage equipment across the data center, relaying alerts to the company's operations teams and enabling failed parts to be repaired more quickly.

"Proactive detection will decrease the amount of sneaker patrols that are needed,” Mosio said. “My staff will be opening fewer tickets because these are things that will get caught."

More importantly, he said, "it's going to avoid costly downtimes and avoid things going bad. We have an electronic health record that supports our enterprise here – if that EHR goes down, bad things start happening, patient care comes into play."

Mosio added that subscribing to a cloud-based service for hardware maintenance enables his team to operate under the pressure of being a state institution frequently charged with reducing its budget because its more cost-effective than OEM maintenance plans UI Health has purchased in the past. 

"I have strategic initiatives to deal with, end users to deal with.,” Mosio said. “We're in the midst of a couple large implementations and have an EHR upgrade, so to have this be one less headache is phenomenal for me." 

UI Health’s experience also exemplifies the projection that analyst firm IDC made in 2017 that cloud computing will transform IT shops from focusing on managing tasks such as hardware maintenance themselves into lines-of-business that purchase those services for the larger enterprise. 

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
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