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Is Artificial Intelligence = Cost Saving for Healthcare Industry

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is altering our concept of healthcare delivery one solution at a time. Be it teleradiology, remote diagnosis, eICU or a robotic surgeon every bit of healthcare delivery is fascinatingly being altered and we are accepting the change. According to a new Accenture Report (Artificial Intelligence: Healthcare’s New Nervous System) AI applications are estimated to save US healthcare industry about $150 billion over the next 10 years.

Source: Accenture

That is not all. Companies are acquiring AI start-ups vehemently; no wonder the AI based industry is expected to grow at 40 % CAGR in the next five years. “AI represents a significant opportunity for industry players to manage their bottom line in a new payment landscape, while capitalizing on new growth potential,” the report states. The

Source: Accenture

report ranked AI applications by their potential for cost saving for the US healthcare industry and robotic-assisted surgery with estimated cost saving of $40 billion toped the list.

To capitalize on the AI wave the report cautiously prescribes that the companies pay attention to a few key considerations. Firstly, healthcare workforce should work alongside AI to be able to bring out the best results. “The nature of work and employment is rapidly changing and will continue to evolve to make the best use of both humans and AI talent,” the report says.

Hospitals should plan, budget and integrate AI into their core structure and governance to be able to take advantage of AI. The report suggests that the healthcare organization should build an AI-smart workforce and culture that uses AI to enhance efficiency, quality and outcomes.

AI can solve the availability problem in healthcare delivery. “AI can magnify care reach by integrating health data across platforms. However, as new technology is introduced, various data sources must be connected to enable a seamless experience for patients,” says the report.

And in the end the stakeholders should be unanimous where information security is concerned. “Parties in the ecosystem will need to work together in an ethical way, and be secure in how they manage critical information on patients,” the report stated.

Here’s hoping that AI would mimic the telecom industry growth pattern and reduced implementation cost would allow more people to benefit from it

The healthcare AI scene in India is poised for growth. Recently Telerad Tech inked a deal with Israel based Zebra Medical Vision to enhance its teleradiology abilities by using Zebra’s AI platform. IBM is making inroads into hospitals with its AI platform Watson. And there are more than 20 AI startups in healthcare trying to solve varied healthcare problems in India. However, the speed at which AI is being embraced in India has got the financial planners thinking of balance (sheets and budgets alike). High cost of technology has pushed people to weigh the cost/benefits/manpower availability/paying capacity etc and keep away from technology that did not fit the bill. This is where the Indian tech start-ups have a chance and they should look to capitalize. Glancing across the board we have SigTuple ; utilizing AI to build artificially intelligent diagnostics and Aindra develops AI based algorithms to detect cervical cancer whereas QorQl uses AI and big data to enhance the productivity of doctors. Let us hope that these deep learning techniques ultimately bring the much needed equality (that we love to talk about so much) in availability, accessibility and affordability to Indian healthcare.



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