The World Economic Forum prides itself on its independence. In its own words: “It is impartial and not tied to any special interests … moral and intellectual integrity is at the heart of everything it does.”1 As an international organization for public-private cooperation, it simply aims to bring people together who have the drive and influence to make positive change.
For that reason, the release of a World Economic Forum report makes people sit up and take notice and so it was in mid-2023 when the organization turned its attention to artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare. On the back of critical challenges such as a shortage of frontline workers, health disparities and escalating spending2, the report’s authors analyzed more than 400 existing AI use cases and conducted in-depth interviews with 50 global leaders across fields such as technology, healthcare delivery and government.
And what did they find? AI has the power to tackle the issues keeping healthcare executives awake at night.
“The question is no longer whether the technology exists for AI to transform healthcare. It does,” report collaborator Pratap Khedkar said3. “If adopted broadly and responsibly, AI holds the potential to radically transform systems and improve healthcare outcomes for all.”
AI has already seen modern hospitals and healthcare practices become places where patient care has never been more sophisticated. Computer vision tools can detect suspicious skin lesions as well as a specialist dermatologist4. Data-driven robots can guide minimally invasive surgery5. Machine learning has been applied to detect Alzheimer’s disease6 and help choose the best medication for patients with major depression7.
With AI reshaping the way clinicians diagnose, treat and monitor patients, it has never been more important for healthcare leaders to be abreast of its growing impact on the sector, key benefits and examples of the technology in action.
Artificial intelligence in healthcare is the use of AI-enabled tools such as machine learning, natural language processing and deep learning to assist and ideally improve the patient experience. This can range from analyzing vast volumes of raw medical information to create more accurate diagnoses to identifying problems and recommending solutions across clinical and administrative environments. With an estimated worth of $14.6 billion in 2023, the global healthcare AI market is forecast to increase to $102.7 billion by 20288.
Artificial intelligence in healthcare has grown in its capabilities to deliver a range of benefits.
AI is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with many examples of how the technology is transforming the healthcare environment.
There is much to like about the use of AI in healthcare but hospital and health providers need to be mindful that the smallest of mistakes can create the greatest of headaches. With AI relying heavily on access to medical records, genetic information and personal health data, ensuring the privacy and security of such material is crucial to protect confidentiality. Robust data protection, encryption and secure data storage need to be part of any AI in healthcare conversation.
From an ethical standpoint, it is equally essential to obtain informed consent from patients and ensure transparency regarding how their data will be used. Similarly, they should be clearly informed who will have access to their personal medical information and for what purposes. Ultimately, people should have the right to control the use and sharing of their health data, with the onus on health practices to maintain clear policies and procedures regarding its use.
Innovation has already made a lasting impact on the healthcare sector but as artificial intelligence continues to evolve, the best is yet to come. In a world that is more digitally connected than ever, the adoption of AI in healthcare is no longer a luxury but a must for hospitals and providers that want to improve outcomes and deliver better patient experiences.
Amid challenging conditions, it is little wonder an increasing number of hospital and healthcare executives are looking to healthcare outsourcing. Discover five benefits of outsourcing your healthcare services to the Philippines.
 Our Mission | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)
 Scaling Smart Solutions with AI in Health: Unlocking Impact on High potential use cases | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)
 Top AI Applications to Revolutionize Global Healthcare: World Economic Forum | Mirage News
 Using deep learning for dermatologist-level detection of suspicious pigmented skin lesions from wide-field images | Science Translational Medicine
 Robot-Assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery—Surgical Robotics in the Data Age | IEEE Journals & Magazine | IEEE Xplore
 Using Multi-Scale Genetic, Neuroimaging and Clinical Data for Predicting Alzheimer’s Disease and Reconstruction of Relevant Biological Mechanisms | Scientific Reports (nature.com)
 Frontiers | A Deep Learning Approach for Predicting Antidepressant Response in Major Depression Using Clinical and Genetic Biomarkers (frontiersin.org)
 AI in healthcare market size worldwide 2030 | Statista
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