The global market for artificial intelligence (AI) in medical imaging is expected to see significant growth in the years ahead, topping $2 billion by 2023, according to a new report from Signify Research.
“The interest and enthusiasm for AI in the radiologist community has notably increased over the last 12 to 18 months and the discussion has moved on from AI as a threat, to how AI will augment radiologists,” Simon Harris, the report’s author, said in a prepared statement. “At the same time, there are emerging clinical applications where the use of AI has been shown to both improve clinical outcomes and deliver a return on investment for healthcare providers. Examples include software to detect and diagnose stroke and analysis tools to measure blood flow in non-invasive coronary exams.”
The U.K.-based research firm noted that “several barriers” could keep AI from truly hitting the mainstream in medical imaging. Those factors include the “challenging” regulatory process, the need for additional large-scale validation studies and the need for full AI integration into current radiology workflows.
“Up to now, the market has mainly been driven by the many start-ups and specialist companies who are applying machine learning to medical imaging, but the major medical imaging vendors are now ramping-up their AI activities,” Harris said in the same statement. “In the last year or so, we've also seen several of the world's technology giants apply their AI expertise to medical imaging, most notably China's Tencent and Alibaba. Over the coming years, the combined R&D firepower of the expanding ecosystem will knock down the remaining barriers and radiologists will have a rapidly expanding array of AI-powered workflow and diagnostic tools at their disposal.”