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RPA and AI in Healthcare: Advantages and Differences

  • Neelam Tyagi
  • Jan 25, 2022
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Various healthcare companies around the globe are keen to adopt enhanced ways to optimize methods, achieve greater efficiency, and most importantly, grow the quality of patient experience and engagement. 


With the increasing number of patients, it turns out to be significant for healthcare systems to function work in the direction of more streamlined processes to manage money and lowering healthcare costs, and for this advanced technologies play an incredible performance. 


In line up with the above briefing, this article explains Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Artificial Intelligence(AI) in terms of basic differences. Over the section, we will learn how RPA and AI benefit the healthcare industry and a glimpse of RPA vs AI in the context of healthcare. 



A Brief Look to RPA and AI  


In simple terms, Robotic Process Automation, or RPA as it is known, is the technology that deploys a particular batch of rules and algorithms, and relying on that, it automates tasks with minimal error and enhances productivity, i.e. performs/mimics rules-based human activities. 


Some of the fundamental tasks of RPA involve data transformation from one system to another, payroll procedure, and processing of general forms, etc.


Artificial Intelligence, also known as AI, refers to the capability of computers to simulate human intelligence, whether it is recognizing an image or resolving business issues. 


AI transforms the entire data analysis process more intelligently, it can derive more significant and appropriate details and fetch beneficial information that enables an individual to make informed decisions.


While AI is converged to performing a human-level task, RPA is software that reduces human efforts. However, AI is far ahead of RPA, still, two notorious techs hold the potential to lift things to the next level, if combined together.


Key differences between RPA and AI


Listing below some conceptual differences between RPA and AI;


  1. RPA counts as software that mimics human activities, whereas, AI is the imitation of human intelligence in the machines that are designed to think like a human and simulate their actions.

  2. Some rules are predefined that assist RPA robots to perform automated tasks, in opposite to that, AI world on the basis of thinking and learning.

  3. Being a rule-based approach, RPA technology comprises no intelligence as it automates repetitive tasks. But for the context of AI, its broad bandwidth comprise superior technologies like ML and NLP. that work beyond rule-based models to automate tasks.

  4. One feature of RPA falls on making an impact on businesses as RPA can transform tremendous data without being fed manually which helps in decision making, in contrast to this, AI enables automated decision-making with the engagement of humans. 

  5. The main purpose of RPA is to just automate repetitious and mundane business procedures, whereas, AI substitutes human efforts, e.g. at someplace, robots or machines are working instead of human labours.


(Related reading: RPA vs IPA)

RPA and AI in Healthcare


Following are the applications of RPA in Healthcare;


RPA serves as a binding procedure that recovers data, finishes forms, and conducts methodical functions, acquires processes, and boosts the accomplishment of working labour across the healthcare sector. 


  1. Document transforming: With the help of RPA, healthcare providers could automate the process of consuming, entering, and transforming patient information like health records, patient registration, and other clinical documents.


  1. Former authorization: Many times physicians can deploy RPA in order to accumulate the huge information required and regulate the procedure of previous authorization on a daily basis that facilitates the entire process and cuts the total costs of manual work.


  1. The tendency to pay: By programming RPA robots, providers can make accelerated cash flow for retrieving real-time knowledge on patients’ receipts and deductibles. 


  1. Regression experiment: For assisting testers across the entire regression experiment process, RPA robots could be applied via conducting tests, extracting data, and executing various well-organized testing steps for patients. Also, RPA robots can deliver a portion of the process precisely faster as compared to a human.


Below are the advantages of implementing AI in healthcare;


AI blends cognitive automation with machine learning techniques, hypothesis formation, language processing, and algorithm variation for making insights and performing analytics with the equivalent inclination level as a human.


  1. In the context of population health, AI helps in identifying hidden patterns in medical data via automated analytical techniques that result in making informed decisions. After that, better healthcare plans can be designed or predicted and understood that make impact the population’s health.


  1. Various health plans can adopt AI to address product strategies, improve and sustain provider networks, and in costing and jeopardize management, sales and marketing, and the engagement of patients.


  1. Moreover, the health insurance sector has been witnessed the extensive deployment of automation, for example, in the realms of fraud, waste, policy inspecting and renewal, computing premiums, and providing assertive patient responses. 


  1. For alleviating the load of administrative tasks, which is time-consuming and alternatively can be spent on patient care, AI can deal with clinical tasks in storing and deciphering diagnostic outcomes, automating drug dispensary, recommending suitable treatment in a short time structure. 


For example, via implementing Artificial Intelligence, hospitals can obtain outcomes through analyzing tremendous phenotypic and genetic images, deposited in their healthcare databases, and make informed and data-driven decisions.


  1. In the near time, AI implementation in healthcare will provide virtual assistant in the form of caregivers, counsellors, admit and discharge management robots, and the healthcare firms that can respond to health queries and wellness questions, depending upon the voice and facial recognition technology, it can also deal with managing, stockpiling, disbursing, and restoring medications.


(Must read:  AI in healthcare)

RPA vs AI in Healthcare


After discussing the fundamental function of RPA and AI in the healthcare industry, let’s discuss the brief factual differences among the two;


  1. While RPA lets macro-levelled task automation and standardizing responsibilities that own a solidified workflow and definite set of rules, whereas AI relies on machine learning, natural language processing, and speech recognition for performing micro-level tasks.


  1. Since RPA addresses a key part of processes without undergoing a full overhaul, achieve faster and short-term challenges, while with AI, healthcare organizations could address the fundamental challenges like efficiency, patient-centricity, and growth.


  1. As RPA is the rule-based approach, it can undertake manual, time-consuming, low-level tasks, in contrast to this, AI can be implemented from the digitization of health records to managing inventory, handling unstructured data, and directing regulatory, and reporting challenges. 


  1. RPA, as a tool, can be used to transform a human workforce-driven process into the self-regulated service space that a patient or user can implement on their own. And, AI, which is a step ahead, helps in advancing healthcare delivery and acts to be revolutionized in-patient healthcare operations.


  1. The primary objective of using RPA in this sector is that to diminish and eliminate repetitive, mundane, manual tasks for medical staff, whereas, AI focuses on addressing the agony circumstances for healthcare facilities across the globe, like, huge operational costs, a shortage of assimilation, and sharing of data, paper-based knowledge, the inadequacy of clinical staff, etc.


(Suggested reading: Healthcare data analytics)




The above discussion represents RPA, in particulars of robots, incorporates software that imitates human activities and AI signifies to a technology imitates human intelligence. 


From RPA services to AI implementation, it is a voyage amidst doing and thinking, i.e. RPA is a process-driven approach and AI is a data-driven approach, especially in the healthcare domain. We emphasized highlighting the differences between the two techs. 


However, due to ample advancement, converging AI with RPA can permit complex data to execute automated end-to-end processes and unite predictive modelling and inferences into these processes for supporting humans smarter and faster. 

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