As AI gains momentum, becoming more prevalent in every industry, it is making significant inroads in the healthcare sector. Healthcare AI is a self-sustaining engine with immense potential for growth. According to an Accenture analysis, “Growth in the AI health market is expected to reach $6.6 billion by 2021;” it has the power to significantly improve treatment plans, decision-making, costs and access to quality care.
Healthcare AI: An Overview
From clinical health AI applications in the form of medical imaging, drug design, EQ (emotional quotient/intelligence) indicators, cognitive computing, bionic limbs to virtual assistants for patients and healthcare professionals and deep learning algorithms to detect a variety of hemorrhages and internal injuries, healthcare AI is a collection of technologies that perform multiple healthcare and administrative functions that augment human activity. Some of the areas where AI has penetrated include:
In other words, AI has already revolutionized certain aspects of medicine and treatment plans and is increasingly penetrating related areas, such as data management. For example, Google’s Deepmind Health project mines medical records data to offer faster and improved care and health services. IBM’s Watson for Health is another such example that offers cognitive healthcare solutions and services to improve the quality of care and patient experiences.
Challenges to Healthcare AI
The popularity of healthcare AI however is checked by the fact that many healthcare organizations are struggling to enhance their capabilities and infrastructure to take full advantage of this AI boom. Rising costs and patient expectations, explosion of data, legacy processes and applications and increasing demand for interoperability have only added to the list of challenges. At the same time, the opportunities are endless, data in healthcare combined with analytics is increasingly leading to smarter decisions and systems. Similarly, innovations in AI is revolutionizing the approach to healthcare.
Given the current atmosphere of rapid healthcare AI adoption and initiatives, the future looks bright. AI presents immense opportunities to capitalize on growth potential while improving bottom lines. The faster the rate of healthcare AI adoption, the more the pace of innovation in the race to deliver high-quality, accessible, time and cost-effective healthcare.