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Forward: Charting the Future of AI in Healthcare Safely and Effectively

San Francisco, CA, February 20th, 2024 — Forward, a leading company in the healthcare sector, is deploying AI in a distinctive approach to deliver safer and more effective healthcare solutions.

Health App

Building Upon the Potential of AI With Doctor-Led Support

What if a massive disruption was coming to American healthcare? Just imagine - anyone with an internet connection could get an instant medical diagnosis without talking to a doctor. What could that do for the affordability and equity of care in our country? How many lives would it save? How many trillions of dollars?

The bad news is that we’re not talking about the launch of ChatGPT in 2022. We’re talking about the launch of WebMD in 1998. And at least in the case of WebMD, the sum total of the impact turned out to be in many ways negative. In theory, WebMD aimed to make health information accessible to all, but this had unintended fallout.  The site's wide range of often conflicting information led individuals to cherry-pick data, while the overwhelming quantity of details inadvertently stoked users' stress and anxiety.

If we’re not careful, AI in healthcare will follow the same fate, or worse, with unfounded trust could create catastrophic health outcomes for millions of individuals.

Dangers of Unchecked AI in Healthcare

We’re constantly turning to the internet for answers, especially when it comes to health. Google reported 70,000 health-related queries made every minute. That’s one hundred million searches per day that may lead to inaccurate, unchecked, or misleading information and is often what popular LLMs are trained on. 

While AI has the potential to augment healthcare services significantly, most of what is out there today falls short of meeting the standards required for high-quality care. In an October study released by Stanford, researchers found that four popular LLMs (OpenAI’s ChatGPT 3.5, ChatGPT 4, Google’s Bard and Anthropic’s Clade) all struggled to give a sufficient answer when asked about kidney function and lung capacity. And more recently, a JAMA study found that ChatGPT 3.5 incorrectly formulated diagnoses in 83 of 100 pediatric cases.

Forward is here to prevent such errors from becoming healthcare risks. "AI developments, as they currently stand, are a bit like black boxes - their decision-making process can often remain unclear," stated Adrian Aoun, founder & CEO of Forward. "Our goal is to construct a system that combines the speed and data-crunching capabilities of AI with expert doctors to help generate transparent models for diagnosis and treatment.”

In a sector where human lives are at stake, the inability to interpret AI recommendations or to correct them can have catastrophic results. Forward is addressing a critical concern by ensuring that doctors are front and center in their model. Emphasizing this point, Lead Physician at Forward, David Popiel, MD, stated, “While AI in healthcare holds immense potential, it’s important to understand and control its applications effectively. With proper handling and the invaluable input of clinical expertise, AI can contribute to accurate diagnoses, appropriate treatments, and improved health outcomes. We must leverage AI responsibly to unlock its true benefits.”

Supercharging Clinical Excellence with AI

Health Apps

Since 2017, Forward has closely integrated technology into its nationwide ecosystem. Leveraging bespoke algorithms is not new to Forward and has consistently been central to its mission to scale the world’s best healthcare. The implementation of these predictive models has already markedly boosted the efficiency of data-based decision making for Forward clinicians. The proprietary EMR that Forward has built structures information and workflows in a way that significantly cuts down on administrative work, affording them the opportunity for more in-depth, one-on-one member interactions. This, among other innovations, has enabled their doctors to manage patient panel sizes that are two to three times larger than comparable primary care physicians, all while maintaining a superior quality of care and member experience.

Forward is now taking this to the next step with Health Apps in Forward CarePod™. Health Apps are robust, interactive care plans expertly engineered by a team of world-class doctors and powered by custom-built models generated by AI. Members can receive prescription medications and leverage vast referral networks with Health Apps—tasks that standalone AI chatbots presently cannot perform. 

Forward is also developing App Builder, an AI-augmented development platform that helps Forward physicians rapidly design, build, and release Health Apps to members across the country. App Builder acts as a copilot to save physicians time in designing and updating clinical protocols and process logic. In one afternoon, a physician can go from idea to a working prototype of an app that expresses their clinical ideas and judgment, further enhanced by retrieval context from research papers and medical journals. Nothing like this has ever been made available to physicians and will dramatically improve the rate of innovation in healthcare and lower the cost of providing wide-ranging medical care to Forward members.

A Safer, Healthier Future

Forward is embracing AI and reshaping its role in healthcare. By weaving sophisticated AI into the fabric of physician expertise, Forward is driving towards a new future where technology magnifies human judgment to deliver exceptional health outcomes. 

Indeed, this substantial integration of AI not only enhances healthcare delivery but also acts as a catalyst in the paradigm shift towards a more responsive, adaptable, and patient-centric system.

About Forward

Forward provides direct-to-consumer preventive healthcare that combines medical expertise with advanced technology, including disease detection, biometric body scans, and blood testing. Forward was created to address the three fundamental challenges of healthcare: cost, accessibility, and quality. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.

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