According to Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, “Artificial Intelligence Market – Key Application Areas for Growth in Healthcare IT, Forecast to 2022”, this market is expected to grow to $6.16 billion at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 68.55% between 2018 and 2022.
In the next three to five years, the status-quo is going to improve dramatically. Democratization of AI is now made possible by big IT companies such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM Watson Health, Philips, GE Healthcare, and Salesforce. These companies are offering cost-effective infrastructure support to modular and speciality-specific vendors, striving to help end users embrace precision diagnosis, treatment and follow-up for patients and their family members across the care continuum.
“To be successful, healthcare IT providers need to devise AI-based business models that fetch real benefits in the form of tangible return on investment (ROI) to end users,” noted Chatterjee. “More importantly, one must realize that patient-generated data which AI platforms interpret has multiple utilities for diverse healthcare stakeholders. Fully informed consent from patients coupled with 100% compliance with stringent data usage regulation has to be ensured to remain relevant in the market.”
Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
In the analysis “Internet of Medical Things Enabling Hospitals of the Future”, Frost & Sullivan charts a paradigm shift from ‘reactive healthcare’ towards ‘proactive patient care’. This shift is a direct result of the technological advances in wearable and sensor technologies as well as IoMT.
Intelligent sensors are hastening the creation of a fully connected ecosystem, opening up the possibility of remote or home healthcare becoming a mainstream healthcare model. Devices such as wearables or e-skin sensors, which aid chronic disease management, and further improvements in the size, sensitivity, selectivity, and communications capability of sensors are giving a huge boost to real-time remote monitoring. This escalating demand for remote patient monitoring, along with the introduction of advanced smartphones, mobile applications, fitness devices, and advanced hospital infrastructure, are setting the stage for establishing smart hospitals all over the world. “Sensors, AI, Big Data analytics, and blockchain are vital technologies for IoMT as they provide multiple benefits to patients and facilities alike,” said Varun Babu, Senior Research Analyst, TechVision. “For instance, they help with the delivery of targeted and personalized medicine while simultaneously ensuring seamless communication and high productivity within smart hospitals.”
Precision medicine made possible through IoMT offers caregivers opportunities to develop unique therapies tailored to the medical needs and attributes of each individual. Moreover, as IoMT-based medical systems are built on a feedback loop, the system automatically repeats feedback for better patient results.
Several technologies will have important roles to play in enabling smart hospitals. Some of these include:
- Big Data analytics: By using analytics to gain actionable insights, smart hospitals can employ digital prescriptive maintenance (DPM) of medical equipment. Big Data analytics can analyze electronic health records (EHRs) and hospital networks, control data for public health research, and reduce hospital readmissions.
- Blockchain: Users of blockchain solutions can create modern models for managing and sharing medical records and patient health patterns within specified populations/communities. A blockchain network will bring together insurance companies, hospitals, and patients for hassle-free and well-integrated payments.
- AI: This technology collects the massive amounts of data generated by IoT to make inferences and predict medical diagnostics based on complex analysis algorithms. With the combination of IoT (for periodic control) and AI (for analysis process), connected healthcare monitoring devices will become “intelligent” over time.
“The main objective of IoMT is to eliminate unnecessary information within the medical system so that doctors can focus on diagnoses and treatment,” noted Varun Babu. “Since it is an emerging technology, technology developers need to offer standardized testing protocols so that they can convince hospitals of their safety and efficacy and make the most of their massive potential.”