Beyond 'table stakes': Aspen Dental CIO on the future of tech in dentistry

Yogish Suvarna, chief information officer at Aspen Dental Management, an East Syracuse, N.Y.-based DSO with more than 800 practices across 41 states, recently shared his predictions for the future of health IT with Becker's.

Here's what Mr. Suvarna predicts:

"Artificial intelligence, including Internet of Things, will transform healthcare. Thanks to new technological advancements, patients’ knowledge and expectations when they see their healthcare provider, like the dentist, are changing. From check-in to managing their daily oral health, the overall efficiency, quality of care, cost of treatment and patient relationship stand to be revolutionized.

At the simplest level, patients across Aspen Dental locations nationwide can check in and pay digitally, enjoying a contactless experience that is critical for infectious disease protocol.

But contactless technology is quickly becoming table stakes, and beyond these efficiencies, machine learning and chatbots will allow doctors and dentists to build and educate patients on individualized treatment plans developed for their genetic profile.

Smart lens in a dentist’s glasses or goggles may allow the provider to see a patient’s bone structure or dental roots to best access care, and 3D printing will unlock individualized solutions for patients and their physicians, making it possible to print and produce accurate, customizable patient models, that for a lower cost, help patients visualize treatment and thus encourages acceptance.

For patients, smart devices, like toothbrushes, will help them monitor their daily brushing, flossing and rinsing to keep their mouths healthy. That data can help dental insurers customize plans for the patient’s needs.

The possibilities are endless when you empower practitioners and patients with knowledge that can help prediagnose, learn more about patients and increase case acceptance that ultimately strengthens patient outcomes."

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