A 45.2-billion-dollar market

The promise of facilitating healthcare work through the application of artificial intelligence is long-standing: about 10 years ago, IBM claimed that its Watson technology would help doctors in diagnosis and treatment. Where are we today?

The market is expected to grow strongly: it is expected to rise from $ 4.9 billion in 2020 to $ 45.2 billion by 2026 with a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 44.9%.

“In the world of technology, advances tend to happen slowly and then very quickly,” says Andrew Ng, founder of Google Brain, former Baidu chief scientist and current assistant professor at Stanford. “I think today we are still in the phase of slow progress in the health sector.”

In the US, the Obama administration has encouraged the digitization of medical records through the HITECH Act and the Affordable Care Act, but the change of pace has not materialized.

“We need artificial intelligence and technology to demonstrate that these applications make a fundamental difference to patient care and the work of the healthcare professional,” said Fei-Fei Li, co-director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. He adds that the integration of AI in the health sector does not foresee big breakthroughs in the coming years, but that he hopes to see the AI ​​in the health sector “blossom” in the next decade.

In Italy

The applications of this technology are already a reality in specific clinical areas such as diagnosis support. We study how to optimize the medical time dedicated to the patient and adapt the therapeutic choices to the state of health.

The smart health experiences have been fragmented and partial, the market is not yet manned and there is no reference model. There is a lack of adequate remuneration systems and models capable of guaranteeing the adoption of these structured and non-partial systems.

The development and deployment of AI applications in healthcare represents a major challenge. We are probably still in a phase in which the introduction of systems, being partial, struggles to significantly affect processes and show all its benefits.

AI is a candidate to be one of the pillars of the digital transformation of healthcare, being the only tool available to exploit the advantages of digitalization of processes, making them manageable by healthcare organizations.

It is important to be aware that artificial intelligence involves organizational changes, medium-term programs, and a rationalization of investments: it requires a precise evolutionary strategy.

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