RamaOnHealthcare June 1, 2022

Today, RamaOnHealthcare talks with Florian Hillen, founder, and CEO of VideaHealth, a company bringing AI to the dentist’s chair by offering the most comprehensive, equitable and accurate clinical results available today. With VideaHealth, dentists can comfortably make treatment recommendations based on experience, science, and data. Florian discusses the challenges facing dentists, dental service organizations (DSOs), and the dental market and how AI can help deliver better care and significantly improve operational efficiencies.

Florian Hillen, Founder and CEO of VideaHealth

Florian Hillen, Founder and CEO of VideaHealth

RamaOnHealthcare (ROH): What are some of the biggest challenges facing the field of dentistry today?

Florian Hillen (FH): Dentists have had to rely exclusively on direct practice experience to make treatment recommendations. With AI at the point of care – while the patient is sitting in the chair – dentists can now make treatment decisions augmented by highly accurate analysis pulled from hundreds of millions of data points. With the right approach to operationalizing AI using VideaHealth, dentists can significantly improve outcomes for both the patients and their practices. AI also drives case acceptance up and can lower costs for patients by providing the right treatments at the right time.

As you can imagine, this is exponentially more challenging at the dental service organization (DSO) level at scale. DSOs are working to standardize experiences and treatment for patients and providers across dozens to hundreds of practices. Standardizing care and operations are critical for fostering practice growth and scale. Chief dental officers of mid-to-large DSOs cannot personally visit each dental practice, provide personal coaching, or do one-on-one chart reviews if they want to calibrate all their practices effectively. DSOs are in desperate need of scalable tools that drive greater clinical accuracy and provide new growth opportunities via AI. While we tend to think of AI as an operational tool for charting or billing, it has great potential to improve clinical outcomes and practice efficiencies. Whether you are running a single practice, a small group, or a large DSO, AI-driven analysis will become a standard practice in the coming months to years.

DSOs are in desperate need of scalable tools that drive greater clinical accuracy and provide new growth opportunities via AI.

ROH: Why is the dental industry ripe for AI innovation?

FH: The dental industry has remained largely unchanged for the past 30 years, so our goal at VideaHealth is to help the market leapfrog innovation using AI. In fact, given the standardization within dentistry, the dental market could accomplish this feat much faster than traditional healthcare segments that have struggled to operationalize and explain their AI use cases.

In addition, being a dentist today requires so much more than just delivering preventative care. It also means acting as a business head, surgeon, diagnostician, and operations lead. Dentists wear many hats, working to improve outcomes and increase case acceptance. AI provides a data-driven approach that can enhance everything from care to streamlining workflows in the office and with insurance companies. At VideaHealth, we’re most excited about the clinical applications of AI because providing fair, accurate, and equitable treatment rooted in data and experience is the North Star for dentistry.

At VideaHealth, we’re most excited about the clinical applications of AI because providing fair, accurate, and equitable treatment rooted in data and experience is the North Star for dentistry.

Specifically, pairing both AI and clinical experience can help mitigate human error and bias, enabling doctors to deliver their patients the most accurate diagnoses and reduce treatment plan missteps. A joint study with our partner Heartland Dental, which supports over 2,400 doctors in more than 1,600 dental offices across 38 states, demonstrated that VideaHealth’s AI platform helped clinicians detect 46% more cavities and reduced errors by 10%.

ROH: VideaHealth recently received FDA Clearance for your AI dental technology. Can you give us an overview of this achievement and why it matters to the industry?

FH: The VideaHealth AI solution improves disease identification and reduces missed diagnoses. And by identifying and treating more diseases earlier, practice revenues can increase. For example, our technology increases diagnosis rates for cavities by 31%. Through automated workflows, dentists and their teams can accelerate treatment planning and charting.

For example, our technology increases diagnosis rates for cavities by 31%.

Our AI algorithms are based on the VideaFactory, which houses the industry’s most diverse dataset with over 100 million data points from leading DSOs, insurance companies, clearinghouses, and universities. This helps our algorithms remain impartial and more fully represent the diversity of the U.S. population.

In addition to the accuracy benefits that AI can provide, our goal is to make it as simple as possible to use AI daily. We’ve heard from our customer deployments that our AI technology is easy to understand and use and fits seamlessly into a dentist’s workflow. We provide ongoing training and support to ensure that clinicians and hygienists fully understand how to use the VideaHealth platform and how our AI algorithms work.

ROH: What other advancements do you expect for dental technologies in the future, and what problems will they address? What can we expect within the next five years? The next 10 years?

FH: The sky is the limit. We expect AI in dentistry to be the next frontier in almost every regard – from the clinical to the operational side. In the next five years, we will see automation in the dental software product portfolio, including diagnosis, treatment planning, charting, scheduling and even ordering supplies. This automation will make the lives of dentists, hygienists, and other staff members significantly easier and allow them to focus on direct care and interaction with patients instead of mundane task management.

This automation will make the lives of dentists, hygienists, and other staff members significantly easier and allow them to focus on direct care and interaction with patients instead of mundane task management.

We believe that every dental office will adopt AI technologies within the next ten years, using chair-side claims processing and predictive analytics capabilities. They will have to in order to stay competitive! We’re starting to see dentists empowered to tell their patients what treatment choices they have and what clinical outcomes they will see in the subsequent months or years.

ROH: What do you feel are the most exciting implications of widespread AI adoption in dentistry and why?

FH: Beyond serving millions of patients with more accurate, transparent dental care – which remains our biggest priority – we feel that widespread adoption of AI will also offer better support for medical-dental integration (MDI). This integration can significantly improve our ability to predict or flag systematic health diseases like hypertension and diabetes. This is one of many critical steps that will lead us to a more meaningful healthcare transformation, from reducing disparities in tooth decay to supporting populations with unmet oral health needs and associated chronic diseases. Bringing together medical and dental will only improve the overall health of patients. Isn’t that what it is all about?

Bringing together medical and dental will only improve the overall health of patients.

About Florian Hillen

Florian Hillen is CEO and founder of VideaHealth, the industry leader of dental AI solutions. Previously, he conducted research at the intersection of engineering and social science at MIT’s Institute for Data, Systems and Society and at Harvard Business School. He also worked for McKinsey & Company and founded Ninu, a digital healthtech startup. He holds two master’s degrees from MIT in computer science and technology policy and a bachelor’s degree in management and technology.

 
Topics: AI (Artificial Intelligence), Interview / Q&A, Provider, Technology, Trends
Podcast: Juan Andino Breaks Down Interstate Telehealth Waivers
Q&A: Why adopting digital therapeutics requires a healthcare paradigm shift
Podcast: SCOTUS Roe Decision Brings Healthcare Challenges 7/1/22
What doctors need to know about physician health programs [PODCAST]
Q&A: Why this health system asks about equity in burnout surveys