Digital Strategy Digital Transformation Innovation and Technology

How Artificial Intelligence is going to change the medical sector?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a succession of algorithms, which enable the processing of an infinite amount of data in a very short time and proposes results that are close to human intelligence.

According to Tractica, Al will represent $ 11Bln worldwide by 2024. Another market is also growing at a phenomenal speed: the global market of e-health, which will reach nearly $ 400Bln in 2022 according to Grand View Research.

AI in the health sector opens up very promising opportunities for improving the quality of care for the patient through more personalized and predictive care. Furthermore, it can help and support health professionals in order to take more adequate and quick decisions in their daily work.

Today, health is mainly about curative medicine. AI will make it possible to switch to even more preventive and personalized medicine.

A faster diagnosis

Thanks to AI, it is possible to better detect symptoms and predict the deployment of a disease by using analytical results like medical imaging, which are, for instance, not detectable to the naked eye.

This information makes doctors able to establish earlier, as well as a new diagnostic hypothesis and to formulate more personalized therapeutic proposals. Indeed, diagnosis and therapeutic strategy are more adapted to the patient’s needs, environment and lifestyle.

For instance, in the Parisian hospital La Salpêtrière, a platform of AI has been developed in order to revolutionize the treatment of diseases such as liver or breast cancer. Medical imaging methods combined with deep learning and big data analytics allow better extraction of biomarkers of disease progression.

For cardiologists, a startup called Cardiologs expert in Machine Learning developed an automatic electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation solution that works in real time thanks to AI.

A better patient care

AI also makes possible to monitor the patient’s condition in real time. This may include, for example, monitoring his physiological condition, describing his symptoms, or interacting with his environment.

More and more, the collection of symptoms is no longer only done during the patient’s consultation with his doctor.

Assistance robots for elderly will be further developed in order to enable them to operate in distance and to help them to make accurate gesture.

AI software is now fitted with sensors and is able to react to touch, sound, light, recognizes their names and adapts to the expectations of their interlocutors.

Through home automation technologies, AI can also allow seniors to simplify their daily lives: some objects or cameras can understand what they see in real time, check the health condition of the patient and alert the family of the doctors in case of unusual situations.

AI robots will not replace the care assistant in the future but may be able to take over tasks to relieve patients. For instance, robots could help with lifting, moving, company with the elderly, monitoring their data health…

Intelligent prostheses aim also to repair the human body or even increase physical performances: artificial limbs or organs. Thanks to AI, it is now possible to perform almost all movements. For instance, Exoskeletons will give to paraplegics the ability to get up or climb stairs.

Also, the American start-up BrainRobotics has developed an AI prosthetics Hand that is able to manipulate objects. The prosthesis is equipped with a digital camera and a microcomputer in order to identify the object to take. The prosthesis is, therefore, able to identify different shapes from databases grouping many pictures.

It raises many ethical issues, including the protection of privacy and personal data, but also the consequences of blurring the human-robot border – a border that can be quickly crossed by the user.

The real impact on surgery

Computer-assisted surgery now makes it possible to improve the precision of gestures or to operate remotely. In 5 years, a system will be set up to analyze in real time the evolution of a surgical operation. The computer will memorize surgical procedures and will allow the creation of algorithms.

Thanks to the algorithms, this system can alert the surgeon if his action becomes “risky”, either because it does not correspond to the expected procedures compared to the other cases of surgery memorized by the algorithm before, or because it deviates from the trajectory defined during a simulation on a 3D model.

A first trial has already been conducted on the basis of 120 records of removal of the gall bladder and after 50 interventions, the computer had already understood that this surgery is still taking place in seven steps.


To sum up, here is a chart illustrating the areas of application of AI

AI healthcare


About the author

Marion Lefébure

Marion Lefébure

Work @Sanofi as Digital Project Officer - Innovation & Business Excellence