We were fortunate to have another insightful conversation with Florian Hillen from VideaHealth here at Dentistry Today. Our discussion centered around the transformative role of artificial intelligence in dentistry and its implications for the industry’s evolution. Before you dive into his perspectives, click here and take a moment to watch our editor-in-chief, Dr. Paul Feuerstein, engage in an in-depth interview with Mr. Hillen. The following article serves as a complementary piece to that interview, offering further exploration of this captivating subject.
DENTISTRY TODAY: Thank you so much for sitting down with us. We won’t keep you long. There’s only a few questions and then we’ll get out of here. Let’s start with this: How would you explain VideaHealth and what the company does to someone unfamiliar with AI? Especially when it comes to AI and Dentistry.
FLORIAN HILLEN: So, what is VideaHealth? VideaHealth is a startup I founded out of MIT after two years of research in the intersection of AI in healthcare. We tried not to be a nerdy MIT startup but a commercially viable and impactful company. That’s why, very early on, we partnered with some of the largest DSOs and the largest partnerships in dentistry to bring our AI to patients. That is what VideaHealth is, and our mission is to help thousands of dentists across the United States and provide better care for millions of patients with the power of artificial intelligence. That’s what VideaHealth is.
Now, to your question about AI. I think if you go to a dentist right now, the dentist is an incredible professional and really good at what they’re doing. Where dentists are especially strong is they understand the patient, they understand the history, they understand the temperament of the patient and all the context, and they’re really good at treatment planning with all the information they have. AI, on the other hand, has been trained on more than 50 times as much X-ray image data as an average dentist will see in a lifetime, as well as over 100 dental experts. So what the AI is really good at is consistency. It never has a bad day, it’s never tired, and it has consumed more data by more experts than any dentist ever could.
It is not the dentist versus the AI. It is really using the strength of both the dentist and the AI to provide better patient care. So VideaAI automatically supports the dentist in identifying diseases and to better diagnose and treatment plan, which leads to two things. Number one, we can help the dentist and the hygienist to identify disease earlier. Number two, it offers a second opinion to the patient in the chair, which helps to increase the treatment acceptance, as we call it. That is amazing because we help the patients get the right treatment at the right time and not delay treatment, because as you know, if you delay necessary treatment for too long, it grows significantly more costly and creates much more of a health risk. That’s really what our AI does.
DENTISTRY TODAY: That’s fascinating. With all that said, where do you think AI will take the industry in the next 25 years?
FLORIAN HILLEN: I think it’ll go faster than 25 years. I hope so, at least, but I think we will see three phases. The first phase will be that AI-supported diagnosis and treatment planning of Videa AI will become the standard of care, meaning that almost every patient who goes to the dentist, the dentist will use an AI to support them in their job. That will likely happen in the next two years. That is also the reason why we partnered together, for instance, with Henry Schein, which has, you know, tens of thousands of dental practices that use Dentrix and Dentrix Ascend. Our AI is integrated into Dentrix and Dentrix Ascend right now, so everyone who uses either of these practice management software platforms can, by the push of a button, activate our AI at this point. This wide-spread accessibility to VideaAI will help make AI-powered dentistry the standard of care in the next two years.
For phase two, I believe that being integrated into the diagnostic process will enable AI to help with workflow automation, for example, doing chat notes, claims processing, etc. This will allow the entire dental office staff to spend less time in a back office, behind walls, and more time in the front office with the patient. This is awesome because AI will directly address this major pain point we hear from our customers.
In the third phase, I believe, will be what we call medical-dental integration. I recently gave a seminar on this with Women in DSO, and discussed how AI will integrate into medical, but not from the medical side, as we believe, but from the dental side. So I truly believe that the dentist side will go into the medical side. What I mean by that is by large data sets, we might be able to have the dentist become almost a screening station for systemic diseases, such as hypertension or diabetes, or others, such as heart disease. We hope to create a world where you go to a dentist for cosmetic reasons or regular checkups, and we can flag if you’re at risk of more significant, systemic diseases. And so we can catch these diseases much earlier. That’s the way we get to medical-dental integration.
DENTISTRY TODAY: It sounds like you’re doing awesome things. Speaking of, the company and its innovative research was recently featured on Fox News. How did that exposure make you feel?
FLORIAN HILLEN: Yeah, I mean, VideaHealth’s mission is to help thousands of dentists provide better care to millions of patients by AI, and so it is really amazing to see this being picked up by Fox News because it enables our mission. So what does that mean? Number one: We want to have a meaningful impact on patient lives. We want to improve the health outcomes. That’s one aspect of our mission. And so we could share that VideaHealth’s FDA clearances, for instance, show proof points that the dentist and the clinician together identify over 30% more treatable decay. That allows us to have a meaningful impact on patient lives. If you are a patient, you want to have your treatment planned with the help of AI because you don’t want anything to be missed.
The second thing in our mission is we have the ambition to help a lot of people. That’s how we define impact, have a meaningful impact in every person’s life and then on to millions of people. We can do that because thousands of dentists already use our AI, and so we can reach millions of patients. The Fox News article and Fox Business segment helped directly with this mission because many dentists who wanted to use our software reached out after reading the coverage. But also what was interesting is that even patients reached out to us to ask, “Hey, I live in this small community in Idaho. I love my dentist, but how can I ask him to use your software?”
It’s really interesting that demand is coming from both sides, from the dentist and also from the patients.
DENTISTRY TODAY: Thank you again for giving us this time. We only have one more question for you. What do you think the greatest thing AI has done or could do for dentistry?
FLORIAN HILLEN: I think it is doing it right now. It helps dentists provide faster, better patient care, and we see evidence of that. We see it in the data. Right now, already, VideaAI is helping millions of patients to get better care. So that’s incredibly meaningful. This is why I’m so excited. This is the most impactful work I’ve ever done in my life because while all the other startups may do meaningful things, what we are doing goes to the core of why we do dentistry in the first place. It is powerful. AI will elevate dentistry, enabling dentistry to go beyond oral health and into systemic health. We need big data and AI for that, and that’s the mission of VideaHealth.
Thank you again to Florian Hillen and VideaHealth for sitting down with us for this interview.
For more information on VideaHealth, visit videa.ai.