Driving Change: Exploring the Profound Benefits of AI in Modern Healthcare

Updated on May 25, 2023
Illustration of the words A.I. (artificial intelligence)

The healthcare industry has soared to new heights, fueled by technological advancements such as telehealth, drug development, and smart diagnostics all of which have one commonality: Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI lies at the heart of this transformative revolution and is the driving force behind every aspect of the healthcare value chain, which in turn continues the push to further revolutionize and elevate the industry as we know it.

The Unstoppable Rise of AI

AI’s impact on healthcare has now become undeniable. Zinnov’s comprehensive study reveals that 80% of global enterprises have extensively embraced AI and 70% of enterprises in healthcare invest over $500 thousand annually in order to keep up with the developments. Furthermore, AI-focused start-ups in the healthcare space have raised over $15 billion in funding since 2020, with over 620 AI start-ups and more than 20 unicorns dedicated to the B2B healthcare space. This surge in AI adoption not only fuels sector advancements, but also provides healthcare players with a competitive edge, as over 80% of total AI patents in healthcare were applied for in the past 5 years alone. 

Empowering Healthcare Providers

The integration of AI into healthcare has allowed providers to reap remarkable benefits as the sector continues to grow. Developments across accelerated drug discovery, enhanced diagnostic accuracy, intelligent treatment and monitoring, and improvement of overall business performance are just a few examples of where the profound impact can be seen already.

A compelling example is the adoption of federated learning by Mount Sinai Health System in NYC. By leveraging this AI technique to analyze electronic health records (EHRs), researchers were able to successfully predict the progress and mortality rates of COVID-19 patients. Compared to local models, federated learning models demonstrated superior predictive capabilities across most hospitals, further emphasizing AI’s ability and potential to drive advancements in patient care.

AI has ushered in a paradigm shift in drug development, moving from a disease-centric approach to a patient-centric one. Through precision medicine, treatments are now personalized based on individual patients’ genetics and lifestyle, supported by advancements in genetics tools like CRISPR for improved genome editing and DNA sequencing. Zinnov’s study, “Artificial Intelligence: I am the Future,” reveals that AI can potentially reduce drug development costs by approximately 25% and accelerate time-to-market by up to 500 days.

Partnerships like that of NVIDIA and HPE exemplify the drive to shorten drug discovery cycles, with their computational drug discovery tools delivering nearly 99% accurate results. By utilizing this kind of technology and information, numerous organizations have already achieved screening billions of compounds and millions of drugs in a fraction of the average time, transforming weeks of work into days or even minutes.

Smart hospitals, where technologies like AI are enabled from the ground up, are a strong case in point for improved efficiency – faster diagnosis and treatment and better outcomes for patients. With AI, administrative tasks can be automated, solving one of the key challenges for healthcare professionals at hospitals – not enough time to tend to patients. AI helps give back time to hospital workers, simplifies the role and relieves their workload.

Enhancing the Patient Experience with Human Touch

AI not only optimizes provider operations but plays a very beneficial role for end-consumers and patients as well. Through AI-enabled virtual healthcare assistants and lifestyle monitoring apps, the telemedicine and virtual care spaces are also rapidly changing. AI is facilitating highly personalized experiences at scale by enabling real-time, data-driven decisions, which equips frontline healthcare workers with instant feedback and recommendations to improve patient care. AI also assists frontline workers on the documentation side of their work. Through speech-to-text and NLP technology, AI enables 76% faster documentation with 100% accuracy. It helps eliminate paperwork burdens such as medical prescription documentation, allowing workers more time to care for and find solutions for patients.

AI continues to evolve, with overall improvements in patient experience and  adds a human touch thanks to generative AI. A recent study from the University of California, San Diego, found that 79% of healthcare professionals rated ChatGPT’s responses to patient queries as high quality, even surpassing those of real doctors. Notably, 45% of the AI tool’s responses were deemed more empathetic, further enhancing the patient experience.

Prioritizing Value through Care

As the healthcare sector strives to continue prioritizing value through care, the latest payment model – value-based care = has emerged as a transformative force. This model places outcomes at the forefront, with AI serving as the key enabler. With the goal to deliver precision care at the right time and place, value-based care enhances healthcare quality, experience for different stakeholders, and empowers payers, providers, and patients alike. Leveraging AI’s capability to access historical EHRs across multiple data sets through remote patient monitoring (RPM), unnecessary tests and procedures can now be eliminated. This approach enables the identification of high-risk patients, leading to personalized, timely, and cost-optimized medical interventions.

The promise that AI will revolutionize the healthcare industry is undeniably profound. Through early detection, equitable access, and improved high-quality outcomes at reduced costs, AI holds the potential to make a significant difference. As traditional payers and providers embark on their digital transformation journeys and leveraging AI technologies, the next decade in healthcare is poised to be truly transformative and one that demands our attention.

Rajat Kohli is Partner at Zinnov
Rajat Kohli

Rajat Kohli is Partner at Zinnov.