Report: AI could save global healthcare $52B by 2021

The implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) applications in the global healthcare market is set to save the industry $52 billion by 2021, according to a report conducted by ABI Research.

ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm, analyzed hospitals that adopted AI technology to predict its growth in the near future. In the report, researchers noted that only a few AI applications have produced scalable results, but many show promise in proof of concepts. At the end of 2017, there were 53,000 patient monitoring devices that use data to train AI models for predictive analytics. This number is set to reach 3.1 million by 2021, a compounded annual growth rate of 176 percent. The increase in AI-based predictive analytics could save hospitals $52 billion in 2021, including $21 billion in the U.S.

“If AI vendors hope to fulfill the potential of their applications in hospitals and medical institutions, they must help implement the communications, network and IT infrastructure necessary to deliver actionable analytics,” said Pierce Owen, principal analyst at ABI. “Unfortunately, clinicians in most hospitals often must work with pen and paper or pagers from twenty years ago and have limited access to secure, networked devices. These institutions need help to collect data in a secure manner and deliver actionable analytics while staying compliant with all regulations.”

The growth of AI can be seen in many healthcare sectors, including:

  • EarlySense is a predictive analytics system that uses data from contact-free sensors underneath a hospital bed mattress.
  • Deep 6 identifies and matches patients to relevant clinician trials using electronic health record data.
  • LexiconAI uses natural language processing to complete electronic health record documentation.

“We as a society need AI to transform the healthcare sector across the board. Already, people without insurance cannot afford care, and the massive increases in costs and healthcare spending will become a drag and burden on the economy if they continue. Luckily, a couple of these AI applications have already proven they can save money and lives,” said Owen.