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Op-Ed | How NLP can help relieve the Healthcare Worker Shortage

By Tashfeen Suleman, CEO, CloudMedx
  • The WHO predicts a shortage of 18 million health workers by 2030.
  • A new survey shows the “biggest pain points” affecting these workers: increasing use of tech can add even more layers of documentation.
  • Healthcare workers want to spend more time caring directly for patients, and less on paperwork. Natural language processing (NLP) is a game changer. It can take over a lot of this work, freeing healthcare personnel to spend more time on direct care.

Across the world, fears are rising about a lack of nurses, doctors, and healthcare technicians in the coming years. The World Health Organization predicts a shortage of 18 million health workers by 2030.

There was already a shortage before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the last few years have exacerbated the problem. Experiencing burnout, exhaustion and mistreatment, many in the sector, especially nurses, have quit their jobs. But there are also other reasons for the shortage as well. For example, in the United States, many doctors are reaching retirement age just as the population of elderly people is expanding – meaning more people will need healthcare from fewer providers.

In addition to attracting young people to careers in medicine, other solutions are needed. One of these is to put new, emerging technologies to good use. But this is a very difficult challenge in healthcare. Unfortunately, the sector has a history of bringing in technologies that are meant to help but end up making things more complicated.