How will the health of the future be? Deloitte investigated it with a recent survey that involved companies, scientific societies, health structures and institutions with the aim of tracing the technological evolution in the health sector, one of the sectors in which artificial intelligence is expected to bring more novelties and transformations.
In fact, it is estimated that worldwide turnover on all the technologies applied to healthcare could increase and reach 280.25 billion dollars by 2021, with a growth rate of 15.9% (here the complete report).
There are three areas of analysis of the survey: awareness of the potential to be grasped; priority actions to develop sustainable adoption models; barriers to overcome for large-scale applications
The survey shows that the personalization of treatments is the main potential that investors expect from artificial intelligence: for healthcare providers and life science companies this is a very important element, having recorded an average score of 4.7 (on a scale from 1 to 5). A further topic, a priority for the interviewees, relating to the automation of some tasks, both in terms of supporting doctors in carrying out clinical activities and in the decision-making process (considered important for healthcare providers and scientific societies), and in back office processes healthcare and administrative (considered important especially for purchasing centers and life science companies). Finally, for supply chain actors, AI can play an important role in increasing real world evidence investigations and improving the quality of clinical research.
The analysis of the answers of the interviewees identifies two areas of intervention: that of acquiring the financial skills necessary to face investments in the artificial intelligence sector; the other linked to the absence of adequate skills for the development and / or acquisition of professional skills, preparatory to the implementation of an AI project and the subsequent use of what has been produced.
But what are the main obstacles that prevent a natural application of AI technologies in the world of health? There are two areas: one connected to the absence or low quality of the clinical data existing today (data awareness) linked to the delay in the digitization of the sector, just think of the scarce diffusion and adoption of the electronic medical record (CCE).
The second represented by the possible resistance to change, due to the non-positive perception of the impacts of AI on processes and organizational methods by the workforce.
In the future, it is expected that the AI used and combined with other technologies will even be able to contribute to profoundly change the structure and competitive dynamics of a sector characterized by strong barriers to entry for extreme specialization and for localization and regulation at national level. In this regard, the survey hypothesizes four possible future scenarios.
The first is that of illusion: characterized by a low awareness of the data and low acceptability of systems that exploit AI by the clinical workforce. The second concerns the selection: characterized by low awareness of the importance of data quality and high credibility of the systems. In the third scenario, competition prevails, in which awareness related to the quality of the data is high, but on the contrary, the acceptability of the systems by the clinical world. Finally, the fourth hypothesis is that of the alliance, in which the importance of the quality of the data and the acceptability of the systems by the clinical workforce are high.