Artificial Intelligence stands out as a transformational technology of our time. McKinsey projects that AI can create economic value, including profits and efficiencies, of $2.7T by 2040. According to the Economist, companies spent $22B on AI related M&A in 2017; about 26 times more than in 2015. Here are a few ways we see AI improving the productivity of our industry.
AI has the potential to dramatically drop the cost of making predictions – We have been crunching EMR and claims data for some time. The problem has been “normalizing” it. But AI can analyze vastly more non-normalized clinical and administrative data, tie the information with genomics data and outside research and derive “meaning” and “context”. This, in turn, can assist physicians with highly personalized preventive, predictive and prescriptive treatment plans for their patients.
AI can be a companion to chemists in drug discovery- Employing supercomputers with AI to root out therapies from databases of molecular structures is one example of how AI can save billions of dollars in drug development. Some companies are already employing AI to find alternative use cases analyzing existing drugs or drugs that have previously failed in clinical trials.
AI can improve the accuracy of medical imaging reads – This is probably the most crowded area of healthcare AI – with IBM Watson at the forefront with its “cognitive health assistant”. Watson and similar technologies are able to analyze radiology images and spot problems faster and more reliably; leaving radiologists to focus on the most complex cases.
AI can code and will turbo charge a new generation of software platform players – Intelligent harvesting of corporate data via AI-based coding will become a significant competitive advantage for healthcare companies. Emerging AI software companies can now “rent” their know how and expertise similar to existing SaaS platform companies.
No doubt that the path to advancing AI is exhilarating but it will not be without peril. That said, AI has a good shot at saving us from being crushed under the ballooning costs in our industry.