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The Price We Pay: How artificial intelligence aims to reshape health care


WFAE’s series The Price We Pay analyzes why Americans spend excessively on health care while still getting lackluster results. From the cost of medication to the impact of certain social factors on life expectancy, a wide variety of factors impact Americans’ health care experience.

For the final episode of the series, we look at how technology aims to improve care and reduce costs across the board.

Investments in the industry suggest the health care technology industry is booming. In 2019, venture capital investors put $7.7 billion towards digital-health companies. In the first half of 2021 alone, $14.7 billion was invested.

Some recent products have proven useful in surgery, including the use of robots during heart and brain surgery. Other concepts, like telemedicine, have surged in use during the pandemic.

Still, critics say technology alone can’t solve broader systemic issues, such as consistent, quality care for low-income communities or the impacts of racism in health care.

We speak with health technology experts to understand the role of technology in the future of health care.


Regina Barzilay, professor of AI and health at MIT

Michael Kosorok, professor of biostatistics, statistics and operations research at UNC Chapel Hill

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Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.