Artificial intelligence is emerging as a transformative technology that has demonstrated the potential to play a major role in many business verticals, from product design to banking and from cyber security to healthcare. Artificial intelligence offers endless possibilities to any business and its innovative nature will continue to influence the technology domain.
One of the biggest AI revolutions has been witnessed in the healthcare sector, where it can impact both healthcare providers and patients. Artificial intelligence offers countless advantages in exploring the landscape of healthcare services, as it promises to incorporate innovation and technology into the healthcare system to deliver unique services to consumers.
Artificial intelligence increases the efficiency of disease diagnosis, vaccine development, information integration, reduces administrative burdens and helps healthcare professionals make better data-driven decisions. At the same time, it improves the interfaces through which patients can enjoy better healthcare services at an affordable cost.
We have prepared this guide to provide you with information on all aspects of AI in healthcare. If you’re looking for the benefits of AI, healthcare industry statistics calling for AI adoption, or other ways AI can transform healthcare in the future, then this is your reference guide.
What is artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence refers to a computer system that can exhibit or simulate a specific aspect of intelligent behavior or human intelligence, such as reasoning, learning, and problem solving.
People may have the impression that artificial intelligence can be a single technology, but on the contrary, it is a combination of intelligent behavior and processes generated by computational algorithms and models. In recent years, the capabilities of these AI computational models and algorithms have been enhanced using powerful computing and massive data. Artificial intelligence as a group of technologies has been enhanced with the introduction of machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), AI assistants, robotics and AI voice technology.
We have seen innovative and powerful AI-powered solutions that can solve real-world problems such as big data analysis, speech recognition, image understanding, vaccine development, virus detection, and healthcare.
Artificial intelligence in healthcare – statistics
Artificial intelligence technology uses a computer to automate and perform a specific task that is usually and routinely performed by humans. With this increasing automation, we have seen the emergence of several other technologies such as robotic process automation, machine learning, AI tools and big data solutions.
According to market intelligence company Tractica, the AI-powered healthcare tools market will exceed $34 billion by 2025. This finding is based on an in-depth assessment of several startups and large companies engaged in startup-level activities in the healthcare space. The space of artificial intelligence.
The global market will witness the mercurial rise of AI-related technologies such as machine learning, neural networks, deep learning, and semantic computing.
According to Accenture Analysis, by 2026, the US healthcare economy could see a massive annual savings of $150 billion due to the use of clinical and healthcare AI applications. Accenture conducted an in-depth analysis of 10 key AI applications and tracked their short-term impact while assigning specific value to them. This value reflects the potential annual benefits of individual applications until 2026.
- Robotic-assisted surgery – $40 billion
- Virtual Caregivers – $20 billion
- Administrative Workflow Assistance – $18 billion
- Fraud Detection System – $17 billion
- Reduction in dispensing errors – $16 billion
- Connected devices – $14 billion
- Clinical Trial Participant Identifier – $13 billion
- Preliminary diagnosis – $5 billion
- Automated Image Diagnostics – $3 billion
- Cyber Security – $2 billion
This ranking indicates the potential impact of each application, which also indicates the adoption rate of AI applications in the healthcare industry. The more benefits, the more aggressive the adoption of AI. It also suggests that as AI applications gain more experience in the field, their ability to learn and act will lead to improvements in the efficiency, outcomes and accuracy of healthcare processes.
Healthcare AI acquisitions and IPOs – driving interest
According to MobiHealthNews, there were 53 new AI acquisitions by healthcare organizations in 2019. This number is sure to increase in the coming years. Below are some of the recent AI IPOs and acquisitions that have taken place in the healthcare industry, which also shows the ever-growing interest in AI in healthcare:
- Fitbit bought by Google for $2.1 billion. Fitbit is among the most popular activity wearable companies in the world.
- French company Dassault Systèmes bought Medidata Solutions for $5.8 billion. It is a renowned SaaS-based clinical development software company.
- Critical Signal Technologies has been acquired by Best Buy for $125 million in the US. This is a very popular company that offers monitoring services for seniors.
The best AI-based healthcare apps you can try
AI-based health apps are a fantastic way to help with health management. Here we have the Top 5 very popular healthcare AI applications on the market:
It is an AI assistant (Chatbot) used to monitor mental illnesses. It uses AI technology to facilitate compassionate, private and empathetic interactions with patients. It also offers various coping approaches to help patients overcome interpersonal difficulties during interactions.
It’s another AI-based mental health app that features a digital instructor, Anna. The app offers engaging events, games and other interactive activities led by Anna to empower patients to gain control over their feelings and emotions.
It is a virtual avatar of a nursing assistant based on artificial intelligence that frequently monitors patients. This virtual assistant can ask patients to assess vital health parameters such as their blood pressure, SPO2 level, weight and also ask any questions related to their health.
This app facilitates direct contact between patient and dermatologist. He will take care of consultations and schedule meetings. MDacne has increased the accessibility of skin conditions and users can get the right skin treatment specialist in less than 5 minutes.
This AI-based tool helps patients by creating customized healthcare plans based on their medical history. It is a smart application that monitors the existing system and in case of any problems, it will determine and recommend a better treatment protocol to the users.
Use cases for AI in healthcare?
We have identified several use cases for AI in healthcare and structured them according to everyday clinical processes. This will help you understand how AI is being used in hospitals today.
1- Patient care
2- Medical imaging and diagnostics
3- Research and development
4- Healthcare management
Benefits of AI in the healthcare sector
The use of artificial intelligence allows healthcare providers to enjoy a number of benefits, including big data analytics, task automation, drug development, to deliver better healthcare at lower costs.
Here are some common benefits of AI in the healthcare sector:
Conventional paper records can lead to many problems such as incomplete medical records, human errors, inefficient sorting that leads to inaccurate diagnosis. Once reports and documents are entered into a computer system, advanced machine learning algorithms can make accurate diagnoses, eliminate errors, and improve the overall efficiency of clinical workflows.
Rapid drug development:
The conventional drug development process is time-consuming and expensive, which acts as a barrier especially during pandemics. However, AI offers several tools and data models to conduct drug development and testing quickly and at a controlled cost.
Enhanced data security:
One of the biggest challenges facing the health care system is the protection of sensitive and personal patient information. Rapidly developing artificial intelligence algorithms can help encrypt personal information, diagnostic findings and clinical reports to prevent them from being altered or hacked. It also allows everyone involved to access information from virtually anywhere at any time.
Robotic Assisted Surgery:
Critical and complex operations require maximum precision, extreme care and expertise. Artificial intelligence robots are being used to perform successful operations and this trend is only increasing. These AI robots are equipped with mechanical arms, surgical instruments and high-definition cameras.
Artificial intelligence is used to recognize patterns to identify potential patient risks for a particular disease. Machine learning and data analysis are used to obtain important information that helps healthcare professionals take timely decisions and actions.
Improved patient experience:
Hospitals typically offer a chaotic patient experience due to overcrowded facilities, insurance claims issues, and massive paperwork. Artificial intelligence is proving to be a big helping hand as it offers users the right information whenever needed and avoids unnecessary confusion and overhead.
Training is an important aspect of the healthcare industry and it is important to provide professional training to doctors. Artificial intelligence offers simulation-based training that is based on a large database of scenarios and data models. These AI-powered trainings help participants make better decisions based on prior learning.
Enhanced Health Insurance:
Insurance service providers can use connected devices to capture medical data for medical claims and risky operations. AI-powered tools offer transparency between customers and insurers, eliminating the likelihood of fraudulent claims.
Limitations of AI in the healthcare sector
We have observed numerous applications of artificial intelligence in the healthcare industry and as technology advances, it will be adopted exponentially. However, AI comes with its own set of limitations that prevent it from being aggressively integrated into various areas of healthcare systems.
Here we have some AI limitations:
Lack of a well-built AI infrastructure –
When it comes to developing or underdeveloped countries, the use of artificial intelligence is in its infancy. The AI infrastructure is not yet fully developed and due to financial, logistical and technological constraints it is not possible for these countries to invest in AI infrastructure.
Probability of defective diagnosis –
AI-powered tools perform diagnostics using large amounts of data. In case of lack of data, there is a possibility of misdiagnosis of a particular disease. If doctors are properly trained to use AI tools to diagnose disease, they could make a misdiagnosis that could turn fatal in certain cases.
Negative side effects –
AI-powered systems work on data models, and although they suggest some treatment to the patient, they may miss aspects such as negative side effects that can lead to long-term risks for patients.
High initial capital costs –
AI is an emerging technology and therefore quite expensive and difficult to implement. It comes with a high initial capital cost to set up, which prevents organizations from adopting it without a large budget.
Potential for increasing unemployment –
There is a misconception that AI will lead to human unemployment as it usurps most routine jobs. However, this is not entirely true, as AI will create marginal jobs for humans and a few other opportunities in almost equal proportions.
Deployment complexities –
AI is not a single technology, it is a group of technologies and tools that are integrated and deployed together as a solution. Due to the higher level of complexity and dependencies, it is difficult to deploy a healthcare system based on artificial intelligence.
Privacy and Security Concerns –
It is vital for any healthcare system to protect the sensitive and health data of the customer as it is transferred between various stakeholders. AI-based systems must include robust security protocols and methods that address security and privacy concerns.
State and Federal Regulations –
AI solutions should be modeled according to several state and federal regulatory standards. It is mandatory for every system to strictly follow these regulations to avoid any problems.
The future of artificial intelligence in healthcare – 2022 and beyond
The future of AI is quite promising as the healthcare industry has begun aggressively adopting AI-based tools and technologies in recent years. We will see the use of hybrid healthcare models where healthcare professionals will be supported by AI technology to diagnose disease, plan treatment and identify risks, while still being able to focus on providing patient care.
Such a model will enable faster adoption of AI technology by healthcare providers as it helps them mitigate potential risks, achieve measurable improvements in operational efficiency and patient outcomes.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) has made some surprising predictions about the future of artificial intelligence in healthcare:
- Almost 25% of hospitals (with a capacity of 200+ beds) have deployed robotics to handle time-consuming tasks. It has helped them prevent errors, reduce labor and improve the sustainability of their business operations while improving patient safety.
- By 2021, nearly 20% of healthcare providers will achieve a 15-20% increase in productivity through the adoption of AI technology.
- Almost 20% of healthcare organizations have started investing in AI projects and are using blockchain to improve patient identity and manage operations.
- Hospital adoption of IoT-enabled inventory management and asset tracking systems has doubled. Operational efficiency, patient safety and staff satisfaction improved.
These trends are evidence of the limitless potential of artificial intelligence to transform the healthcare industry.
Artificial intelligence is a technology that has huge potential and its importance cannot be ignored. We have seen countless examples and industry case studies for the seamless integration of AI into the healthcare industry.
AI not only promises to recognize behavioral patterns, interpret complex clinical data, provide better insight, but also act as a “decision engine” that can increase the efficiency of processes and the efficiency of healthcare providers’ workflows. Artificial intelligence will play a key role in the healthcare industry in the future, enabling service providers and patients to enjoy unprecedented benefits.
Humans and machines each have their strengths and weaknesses and are recommended to complement each other to offer optimized healthcare services. Artificial intelligence technologies act as a transformative tool to augment human capabilities to serve patients when and where they need them.
AI-powered solutions have begun to make incremental progress in solving key problems, but we are still witnessing a significant impact on the healthcare industry despite the attention being generated around it. We are quite hopeful that most of the key constraints will be resolved in the coming years and AI will play a key role in directing the healthcare sector.