The impending Tech Revolution in Healthcare - Startup Terminal

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The impending Tech Revolution in Healthcare

Author: Abhimanyu Rishi, Founder and Director of Bhookha Haathi

The ongoing pandemic has caused disruption in how we have learnt to live so far, however, it has also paved the way for transformation and innovation in the healthcare sector.

The portfolio of sectors who are benefiting from the merits of AI and new-age technologies is diverse and healthcare is not left untouched either.

Automating tasks and better accuracy provided by machines leaves less margin for human errors. The global deployment of AI in healthcare market size is expected to grow from USD 4.9 billion in 2020 and reach USD 45.2 billion by 2026; it is projected to grow at a CAGR of 44.9% during the forecast period.

COVID-19 has made some deep cuts into our system and exposed the vulnerabilities and chinks in the armor of the existing infrastructure to the public; The Healthcare system is about to collapse as the curve steepens further. Economic depression is rising and thus it is critical to re-start business operations and economic activities.

Accepting The New Normal

In a post-COVID world, life runs around the motto "Prevention is better than cure". Scepticism is already high around long term side effects on health by pharmaceutical solutions available in the market. Growing trends have shown that there has been a  transformation in consumer behaviour - people are starting to prefer natural or organic products to achieve Holistic Nutrition rather than synthetic supplements. This is an important trend to notice since boosting community immunity is a priority for survival keeping in mind the rising number of deaths due to coronavirus infection.

Life is disrupted forever and won’t be back to what it was anytime soon. There is a dire need for innovation and creativity with caution when faced with an unprecedented situation like this. It is critical to follow the guidelines and protocols laid down by authorities since businesses are reopening again in a post COVID scenario. Once the workforce gets back to the office, it is important to adhere to the norms of social distancing and ensuring wellness.

Technological Intervention in Healthcare: Use Cases

Personalised medicine - Using Large data sets based on patients’ medical history, AI is able to formulate the right combinations to target specific ailments. Using predictive analytics, medical professionals can help pin down the risk of disease in the near future.
On the other hand, machine learning, a subset of AI helps in automation of routine and repetitive tasks, this helps in optimising the administration process and cuts down on Enterprise's labour costs, proving to be a long-term asset for any SME or organisation.

Health-focused Chatbots - These use deep learning algorithms deployed in NLP (natural language processing), these help to disseminate public health information for awareness campaigns, as recently done by WHO.

Chatbots can also schedule appointments, respond to general user queries addressed to doctors and hospitals. They can be useful for sending reminders to patients and to self-triage patients’ disease based upon the symptoms they enter.

Diagnostics Assistance

Natural Language Processing (NLP) can help doctors to filter out relevant information from lengthy and subjective reports. This helps in cut downtime and aids in better decision-making process by narrating the information to doctors thus making it easier for them to consume information.

Medical Imaging

Medical imaging has brought revolutionary changes in providing healthcare services by providing a better picture of various anomalies. But sometimes, the anomalies are so small in size that a human eye becomes unable to detect it. With doctors not being able to detect such abnormality can even cost a patient’s life. AI helps in detecting such anomalies which human eye cannot detect.

According to Data Bridge Market Research, Global Artificial Intelligence in Medical Imaging Market of which artificial intelligence in medical imaging is a part of is expected to rise from its initial estimated value of USD 21.48 billion in 2018 to a projected value of USD 264.85 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 36.89% in the forecast period of 2019-2026.

R&D for Drug Development: Costly medicines involve lots of research and development followed by clinical trials. Disruptive technology like Artificial Intelligence can help reduce the cost of medicine by reducing the cost of R&D. For example, Atomise launched an AI-powered program in 2014, which helped to find alternative medications for the Ebola virus. Drugs were found with the potential to reduce the effects of Ebola within one day. It reduced months of R&D work, which saved medical institutions time and money.

New Wave for Healthcare Industry

In the near future, infrastructure and operations are deemed for Technological intervention. Leaders in the healthcare industry must take cognizance of the ongoing rapid changes and develop a future-proof framework for their sector by investing in the right resources to build an agile and healthy workforce.

Abhimanyu Rishi Bhookha Haathi
Abhimanyu Rishi 
(Author Abhimanyu Rishi is the founder and director of Bhookha Haathi. Views expressed in the article are of the author.)

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