Artificial Intelligence (AI), combined with Machine Learning and Deep Learning, has transformed various industries in terms of overhauling their operations, marketing, customer relations, and research methods. It allows the processing of data that has been accumulated over the years for an inference, thereby, resulting in more informed decisions in the future. An IDC study says 30% of the healthcare service providers are now using cognitive analytics for deriving actionable insights using the patient’s data. As per an Accenture analysis, the health Artificial Intelligence market is expected to witness a CAGR of 40% and reach $ 6.6 Billion by 2021.
While the healthcare industry has been a slow adopter of technology, it is now trying to breathe the ‘intelligence’ element in their systems in order to minimize instances of human errors. Several AI devices/sensors are actuated (with programs) to sense/detect, understand, infer, learn, and consequently act. This ability further enhances drug development, disease discovery, patient care, and synchronized patient care/treatments.
AI in healthcare
The implementation of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare can be categorized into 3 categories:
1. Descriptive analytics: Gaining insights into the events that occurred. Detecting elements which are often missed by the human eye such as minor skin lesions or any abnormality.
2. Predictive analytics: Based on the descriptive data, predictive analytics can foresee any health condition which may be on the verge of development.
3. Prescriptive analytics: It gives possible treatment solutions based on both descriptive and predictive analytics.
Thus, the AI in healthcare largely revolves around these areas and then can be further applied to healthcare areas like:
Diagnostic and Imaging
Amara Health Analytics is a good example to show how companies can leverage the power of AI to get real-time predictive analytics for the early diagnosis of a health condition or the onset of a disease. Another company that uses AI in Imaging insights is SkinVision which detects early symptoms of skin cancer just by taking a photo of a particular area of skin. Thus, cautioning the patient on any advancing condition for cancer.
Research and Development
Research and Development is one area where AI has been most beneficial, especially in improving the process of drug discovery. NuMedii, a Biopharmaceutical company, uses Artificial Intelligence for Drug Discovery. Furthermore, companies like Desktop Genetics are gauging the genetic roots for diseases through AI and using it for sounding off an early caution.
AI, with the help of automation, can help in integrating front-end and back-end processes of hospitals. MD analytics is one such company which is using the same technology to provide market research data on medicine and health sectors.
The healthcare industry’s aim is to serve their patients on time, provide quality healthcare, and get better at every step of the way. With efficient descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics, there is an increased chance for accurate detection of diseases and reduction of prescription-related errors.
Companies like GNS Healthcare and Oncora Medicals use Machine Learning to align the perfect treatment for their diseases and learn from the data to provide a better-personalized treatment.
How India is embracing AI in the healthcare industry
As per Accenture’s analysis, AI has the potential to add USD $957 Billion to India’s economy in 2035. India has to therefore put in big efforts to harness the potential of AI and create a favourable ecosystem for more health tech startups to emerge who can then leverage the power of AI to improve the healthcare landscape in India.
There are tell-tale signs that this has started to happen. Recently, Microsoft joined hands with the Government of Telangana, India, in using its cloud analytics for MINE (Microsoft Intelligent Network for Eyecare). A SaaS (Software as a Service) based application Pharmarack, helps in automating the pharmaceutical supply chain using Artificial Intelligence. Another example here is Google Brain which is currently working with Aravind Eye Care Systems in detecting signs involved in diabetes-related eye diseases. Several health institutions like Apollo Hospitals, Narayana Health, Fortis Healthcare, Max Healthcare, and L V Prasad Eye Institute are using Machine Learning, Data Analytics, and Microsoft Azure to improve patient care in India.
Many India based initiatives, such as Niramai Health Analytix for breast cancer detection, Qure.Ai (deep learning based) for diseases and personalized treatment, Orbuculum (AI & Genetics based) for early prediction of diabetes, neurological disorders, and diabetes, have flourished.