AI in healthcare to grow by 51% globally by 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) in the healthcare industry is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 51% by 2023, a new report by India-based Occams Business Research and Consulting shows.

According to a May 2017 report by MarketsandMarkets, growth is forecast at almost 53% by 2022 with a total volume of nearly $8 billion. The size of the market stood at 667 million in 2016, the report said.

According to Occams’ research, the growth will be due to a “rising demand for real time monitoring system and increasing usage of big data in healthcare industry”.

The main applications of AI in the field are with regards to facilitating diagnostics, less room for human errors, cost reduction, image recognition and others.

Among the challenges the report identifies “ambiguous regulatory guidelines for medical software and reluctance among medical practitioners to adopt AI-based technologies”. Factors like these are still limiting AI growth in the healthcare market.

Not surprisingly, growth in North America is expected to be fastest, driven by electronic health records and precision medicine solutions. The “strong presence of leading companies, large number of cross industry collaborations and growing investments” are also amongst the driving factors.

Numerous startups have announced health-related AI-driven projects in the past years. Recently, Palo Alto, CA-based startup announced it was building an “AI doctor”. The company describes its products as a “platform for established medical companies to enable patients to have personalized, AI-powered conversations about their health at any time of day”.

To further develop its platform, the company has planned an initial coin offering (ICO) scheduled for September 7. It plans to issue 86 billion coins, representing the number of neurons in the human brain, the company said. It expects to sell approximately 37% of the coins during the offering.

On the other side of the Pond, in Cambridge UK, a startup called Cambridge Bio-Augmentation Systems (CBAS) recently won a £10,000 grant from UK public body Innovate UK. The company, which is building advanced and affordable bionics, will use the grant to “automate remote monitoring of lower limb disorders or amputations to improve treatment and rehabilitation in patients with prosthetics”.

In addition to providing valuable insights at ease to patients, similar projects are meant to partially alleviate the shortage of healthcare workers.

A number of other startups are working on deploying AI-based solutions in healthcare establishments in fields as diverse as cell and genetic research, prediction, anti-ageing, disease prevention, wellness, telemedecine etc.