Digital transformation is on its way and is revolutionizing every industry, and the healthcare sector is definitely part it. Technology has been playing a significant role in the way to live healthier and longer. I have been specialized in digital for the healthcare industry over the last ten years, and I am fascinated by the sector’s transformation over the past decade and its positive impact on the patients, healthcare professionals, and caregivers.
When I first started working in the healthcare industry, digital-only meant a corporate company website with an AdWords campaign, and that’s it! Today is bringing new technologies into healthcare resulting in an entirely different world. The potential of AI seems endless – only by looking at how many companies are investing time, effort and money one can predict a flourishing future.
In 2016, Frost & Sullivan’s market study projected that AI in healthcare would reach $6.6 billion by 2021, a 40% growth rate.
IBM Watson is leading the race with a prominent part of cognitive computing for healthcare, but the competition is huge with more than 826 companies specialized in machine learning, computer vision, smart robot, virtual personal assistant, gesture control, NLP speech recognition, video ACR. Let’s illustrate the potential of AI in healthcare and pharmaceutical with concrete examples.
For instance, Scanadu has developed doc.ai platform which can explain to patients their blood results. Scanadu offers to doctor the opportunity to “delegate” the lab results interpretation to a robot, which gives them the chance to focus on their other duties. Today, the efforts are on blood results, but hopefully, soon it will be genetics and any new kind of tests.
Another example to show how AI can support doctors in ER (A&E) department is the detection of intracranial bleeding from trauma and stroke. The algorithm developed from a collaboration between MedyMatch and IBM Watson is based on multiples criteria such as machine vision, deep learning, patient data and clinical insights.
AI also has the aptitude to revolutionize the biomedical sector. Newcastle University (UK) has developed a bionic hand. The device comes with a camera which takes pictures of the object in front of the bionic hand. The beauty of the machine is not only matching an image, but it is also memorized objects and cluster them according to the grasp type the hand should perform to pick it up successfully.
In this fast-paced and exciting world revolution, we should also take the time to assess the risks and raise questions such as – how should we consider AI? What is the role of AI in our civilization? Is there a risk of superintelligence?
Big tech companies are considering the risks, and for instance, Google created an ethics committee to ensure that this new way of thinking predicting the acceleration of innovation and improvement of human conditions is not altering human dignity. Somewhat a way to step in the fight between Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk – the first ones support the idea that AI is a technology amongst others dedicated to helping to solve more complex challenges while the second see it as the worse risk for our civilization. Some ethical questions are about mitigating opportunities and risks for our civilization. While we consider these risks, we should also have in mind that, in the end, this technological progress could mean better (quality of) live for everyone. Artificial Intelligence has immense potential, and it is responsible implementation is up to us.