The factors negatively influencing healthcare are many but have been exacerbated by rises in life expectancy, and a growing complex aging population with multiple morbidities. Money is unlikely to be the solution to the ever-growing strain on healthcare exemplified by the NHS where the annual spend has increased every year since its inception 70 years ago. Instead suggestions have been made that we must find better ways to manage the current budget and indeed save while improving quality of care. To do this will not only require a radical change in the way in which healthcare is delivered but also in the way that healthcare professionals think in terms of embracing change and in the way, healthcare is administered. This can only be realised through co-production between academic researchers in the biomedical and data science space, healthcare professionals, policy makers and notably patients.
We find ourselves at a critical point in the evolution of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. While we can take it for granted that the rate of technological innovation will continue to accelerate, what is less clear is how quickly we can adapt healthcare to make use of these advances. This is partly a very human problem. For example, many of the healthcare professionals (HCPs) I speak with welcome the potential benefits cloud computing can bring such as better data storage, processing power and increasingly sophisticated algorithms that can help diagnose diseases. However, they also hold genuine concerns that the regulatory environment particularly information governance will continue to lag behind AI development.
Based on application, the artificial intelligence in healthcare market is segmented into robot assisted surgery, virtual assistants, administrative workflow assistants, connected machines, diagnosis, clinical trials, fraud detection, cybersecurity, dosage error reduction, and others. The clinical trials segment held the largest market share in 2019, and the robot assisted surgery segment is estimated to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Rising adoption of robotic surgeries due to better surgical outcomes offer lucrative opportunities for the growth of robotic assisted surgery segment. Microsoft, Koninklijke Philips N.V., Intel Corporation, General Electric Company, Alphabet Inc., NVIDIA CORPORATION, Nuance Communications, Inc., Siemens Healthineers AG, Arterys Inc., and Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc. are among the leading companies operating in the artificial intelligence in healthcare market. The artificial intelligence in healthcare market is expected to witness substantial growth post-pandemic.
The Royal College of GPs is inviting clinicians and healthcare professionals in primary care to provide insight on how AI will impact them. Together with UCL, the RCGP is in the early stages of piloting an AI tool for educational purposes. However the College has called for help, via a survey and working group, in testing this tool and providing insight into how work in primary care might be impacted by the introduction of AI more widely. The College is forming an online community to test and support artificial intelligence (AI) activities, including the chatbot AI tool for education. Across the UK significant effort is being expended to develop AI for example the Department of Health Northern Ireland is investing in Queens University Belfast to support AI for precision medicine.