AI offers a number of advantages over traditional analytics and clinical decision-making techniques. Learning algorithms can become more precise and accurate as they interact with training data, allowing human to gain unprecedented insights into diagnostics, care processes, treatment variability, and patient outcomes.
AI innovation in healthcare has been overwhelming, according to ReportLinker, the global Healthcare AI Market accounted for $4.9B in 2020 and is expected to reach $45.2B by 2026 growing a CAGR of 44.9%.
What is driving this vibrant growth?
Healthcare has a lot of data which is a prerequisite for any AI transformation. X-rays, MRI and ECG reports are piling up at the hospitals and laboratories, DNA sequences analyzed in the laboratories. With blood pressure, sleep cycle, heartbeat, BMI gathered on increasingly widespread smart devices, AI is benefited with a vast playground to show its powers and magic. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health services are given a digital push. From telehealth diagnostics to rapid testing to respiration monitoring, the newly launched startups have received an extra motivation to speed up their delivery and keep themselves updated amid the increased necessity and demand for certain services and products.
Why Startups are making a Shift towards AI in Healthcare
AI in healthcare is the world’s fastest-growing sector. According to an Accenture report, healthcare AI applications can potentially generate more than $150B in yearly savings for the US healthcare economy by 2026. Robot-assisted surgery is one of the most lucrative AI applications in healthcare, valued at a staggering $40B. With groundbreaking innovations, robotic assistants are poised to transform not only surgery but the entire healthcare spectrum as well.
According to HealthTech Magazine’s recent update, from virtual assistants to MelaFind technology, numerous applications of AI are well-positioned to improve patient care and potentially save lives. Many startups are realizing that Preventive Care can save billions in the long term. Companies like Benevolent AI, Engine Biosciences, Insitro and Verge Genomics among others seek to lower Drug Discovery costs, decrease failure rates, accelerate and reduce costs of the drug and therapy R&D process. Plus a prominent example of a personalized care startup is Babylon Health – which delivers full access to healthcare, including personalized health assessments, treatment advice, and face-to-face appointments with a doctor available 24/7.
“An estimated 40,000 to 80000 people die in America each year because of diagnostic errors.”
Key areas in Healthcare that will reap more benefits of AI
- Employees: With the help of AI, the burden on the medical workforce and the other clinical staff would be lesser, as AI comes with the powerful tools to do their jobs better.
For example, CloudMedX and Anthem together launched a digital tool named as C19 Explorer that aims to allow public health officials and other health and community leaders to track and predict the impacts of COVID-19. It is divided into 5 tabs, with different pockets of information that users can then dive into at the national, state and country or city level. The sections include data on cases and testing, hospital preparedness and capacity, economic impacts, social risk factors and how well people are adhering to state or local orders to stay at home.
- Consumers: According to a recent survey, consumers are 6 times more likely to see AI making a positive impact on communities. And to be more specific, consumers are expecting AI to improve health quality and make the patient experience holistic and seamless.
For example: How Apple is using AI in healthcare? Its AI sensor is built into their flagship wearable – that detects atrial fibrillation, a cardiovascular condition that’s characterized by irregular heartbeats. Apple’s ECG app enables users to take an electrocardiogram, detecting any skipped, rapid or errant heartbeats. By monitoring your heartbeat in the background, the app can notify you if the abnormal rhythms seem to be a sign of atrial fibrillation, making you aware about the medical attention at the earliest. If the atrial fibrillation condition goes unnoticed and untreated, it can eventually lead to a stroke or heart attack.
- Security: On an average, healthcare companies lose approximately $455 per data breach, for each record that is compromised. Data breach in healthcare is not just about money, they tend to lose money, data as well as consumer trust. But with the help of AI, that can be reduced. It can bring more transparency and efficiency. And it can lead in data security protection.
- Institutional Readiness: Healthcare organizations can integrate AI into their governance and structure, it can be enabled to create and develop an AI-smart workplace culture and workforce – that will leverage the technology to improve and upgrade security quality, patient outcomes, and overall efficiency.
In total, the healthcare AI market is forecasted to reach $150B in valuation by 2026. The biggest winning areas in the race for AI adoption in healthcare are: Institutional Readiness, Medical Employees, Patients and Healthcare Security. AI is pretty easy to imbibe in any healthcare organization’s governance and structure, it will boost up the quality of service, make the workflow more structured, and improve medical outcomes for patients. In healthcare, accuracy is the key – and AI allows the improved accuracy of diagnostics and many other aspects of healthcare, and as we are well aware, more accurate information in medicine can lead to a better solution.