Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a new concept. We have been using it for decades. From automated-teller machines to self-driving cars and identifying spam emails, AI has been there for us. However, the recent advancements in machine learning and deep learning have led to significant growth in the use of AI in different industries. The healthcare sector is one such industry where AI plays an important role. The potential of AI in healthcare to streamline existing processes and create new, more efficient ones is an essential topic of discussion in the industry.
Yet healthcare lags behind other industries in AI adoption.
The healthcare industry has been striving to improve the quality of patient care. In the past few years, we have seen several startups launching AI-powered products and services that patients and healthcare professionals use. However, the recent advancements in AI technology have made AI more capable of impacting the healthcare industry. As a result, we have seen several large companies and startups using AI to improve the quality of patient care. This blog post highlights how AI is impacting the healthcare sector and how it will improve the patient experience.
AI FUNDING IN 2022
Funding in AI startups maintained stable growth in the years before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, increasing from 18 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to 26 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. Investments into AI-driven startups increased substantially at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the latter half of 2021, as it became clear that work-from-home and cyber solutions were a permanent part of the workplace. Consequently, investments grew from over 30 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 to more than 65 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. However, investments in AI startups were slightly declining in 2022.
The potential of AI to simplify existing healthcare processes and create new, more efficient ones is a major topic of discussion in the industry. In 2022, healthcare AI funding dropped to its lowest level since the third quarter of 2020, according to a CBInsights report. CBInsights’ report revealed healthcare AI funding decreased 20% from Q2, compared to fintech AI funding, which dropped 34%. Retail tech AI funding fell by nearly half.
AI IN A WIDER RANGE OF APPLICATIONS IN HEALTHCARE
AI has a lot of potential in many industries, but everyone should pay close attention to healthcare. Many of the most significant AI breakthroughs will happen in the healthcare and medical industry. We already have robots that can assist with surgery, machines that can diagnose cancer, and software that can help to predict when you’re about to have a heart attack. It’s not just the diagnosis and diagnosis, though — AI can also help with patient monitoring and care. We’re going to see a broader range of applications in healthcare, and we’re going to see them appear faster and faster.
The U.S. healthcare system is at a critical crossroads as it faces major demographic shifts, burgeoning costs, and transformative technologies. By 2030, annual healthcare spending in the United States is expected to reach $6.8 trillion. The government’s share of this spending is projected to be 48 percent by 2030, driven by increased Medicare enrollment, as more than 10,000 Americans become eligible for Medicare daily.
Accenture estimates that AI applications will cut annual U.S. healthcare costs by $150 billion in 2026. These savings expect to result from a broader range of applications. A recent analysis by McKinsey suggests that “AI-enabled personal assistants can automate 50 to 75% of manual tasks, boosting efficiency, reducing costs and freeing clinicians to focus on complex cases and actual care delivery and coordination. This, in turn, may improve the healthcare experience for both clinicians and insurance plan members.”
One of the most promising applications of AI in healthcare is in the area of precision medicine. By analyzing vast amounts of data, AI can help identify patterns and correlations that might otherwise be missed. This information can then be used to develop more targeted and effective patient treatments.
AI can help identify and diagnose diseases, predict patient outcomes, and recommend treatment options. AI can improve patient care by providing clinicians with real-time decision support and automating routine tasks. In the future, AI may be used to develop personalized medicine and improve population health.
AI is also helping to improve the efficiency of clinical trials. By automating the data collection and analysis process, AI can speed up the trial process and make it easier to identify which treatments are most effective.
THE FUTURE OF AI IN HEALTHCARE
Consumerization is transforming the healthcare space with digital technologies causing a fundamental shift in consumer behavior, demands, and preferences. This transition has changed how consumers (patients) interact with healthcare providers, with digital standardizing healthcare experiences and consumer engagement. The healthcare industry is on the cusp of a significant transformation, and AI plays a pivotal role. From providing insights that can help improve patient outcomes to revolutionizing how research is conducted, AI is already making a difference in healthcare. And as technology continues to evolve, its impact will only grow.
AI has promising applications in health care, including medical diagnostics. For example, it may result in earlier detection of diseases; more consistent analysis of medical data; and increased access to care, particularly for underserved populations. However, applying AI technologies within the health care system also raises technical, economic, and regulatory questions. While these questions should be addressed and explored, the possibilities of AI are endless.