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Jordan Miller, MD: 2024 Dermatology Predictions

Feature
Article

Advancements in assistance from artificial intelligence include ambient listening to take notes during physician and patient conversations.

Jordan Miller, MD

Jordan Miller, MD

In a recent interview with Dermatology Times, Jordan Miller, MD, board-certified dermatologist and senior medical director of dermatology at ModMed, reviewed what innovations he is looking forward to most in dermatology in 2024, as well as areas that still have room for improvement.

Miller is looking forward to advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), including ambient listening for improved notetaking during patient appointments.

Q&A

Dermatology Times: Can you please briefly discuss your role at ModMed?

Jordan Miller, MD: As the principal medical director of dermatology, I lead the development of ModMed’s dermatology-specific electronic health record system and work with our clients to create specialty-specific software. I work with my fellow dermatology medical director to ensure that our clients have access to the latest, most up-to-date dermatology plans and impressions. As a practicing dermatologist, I work with my team to develop an EHR programmed with deep medical knowledge so that it fits seamlessly into the real-world workflows of dermatologists.

Dermatology Times: What advancements in dermatology are you looking forward to most in 2024 and why?

Miller: I'm most looking forward to seeing how ambient listening continues to develop this year. Ambient listening technology uses voice-enabled AI to “listen” to the conversation between the physician and patient and records notes during the appointment. This technology saves physicians’ time by reducing notetaking by the physicians and scribes during and after an appointment and allows physicians to give their full attention to the patient in front of them. Physicians spend almost 2 hours every day outside of office hours completing documentation and this administrative burden contributes to longer work hours and burnout among physicians. We’ve seen significant progress with ambient listening, and it is growing increasingly available for practices as more technology companies develop solutions. I am excited to see this technology continue to improve and impact physicians’ workload. Direct integration of this technology into existing technologies remains, for the moment, elusive.

Dermatology Times: In your opinion, what were a few of the most important innovations in 2023?

Miller: At the end of last year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded reimbursement for telehealth services for 2024. This change will benefit practices such as mine, where many of the patients I see travel upwards of an hour to reach my clinic. Some of my patients even travel 3 to 4 hours each way for their appointments. The move to embrace telehealth removes a barrier to care that impacts a large portion of patients – commuting – and can make remote care viable for care provider organizations that want to reach more patients remotely. By expanding telehealth, we can also mitigate physician burnout by allowing them some of the work/life balance that workers in other fields have found post-pandemic.

Dermatology Times: In your opinion, what areas in dermatology still need more innovations or improvements?

Miller: Dermatology still has a lot of room to grow in terms of AI technology. Ambient listening is an early example of AI-powered tools that will assist physicians during a time of provider burnout and staff shortages across the industry. However, ambient listening technology itself still has potential for further innovation. As the technology matures and incorporates more data, it can become more assistive to physicians when it doesn't “hear” every part of their conversation with a patient. By leveraging structured data, the AI can fill in blank spaces in the conversation and make suggestions on how to complete the patient’s chart based on previous cases.

We’re also seeing strides in diagnostic applications for AI, such as Google’s eye scan for diabetic retinopathy. We have merely scratched the surface of AI’s potential to diagnose and recommend treatments for diseases. This may be exciting to patients, but it is a topic that causes anxiety for many physicians. The thought of being replaced or made obsolete by AI is top of mind for many providers in dermatology. Dermatologists and patients will have to learn to function in tandem with these AI tools and their physicians to make the best medical decisions.

Jordan Miller, MD, is the senior medical director of dermatology at the health care software solutions company, ModMed, in Boca Raton, Florida. He is board-certified in dermatology and Mohs micrographic surgery and practices medical and surgical dermatology at Northern Arizona Dermatology Center.

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