Gerald Tarutis

Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare

Posted by Gerald Tarutis on June 15, 2017

Artificial Intelligence (AI) And Healthcare

 “About 86 percent of healthcare provider organizations, life science companies and technology vendors are currently using artificial intelligence technology, and by 2020, these organizations will spend an average of $54 million on artificial intelligence projects, with investments primarily geared toward improving business operations, according to a Tata Consultancy Services Global Trends Study focusing on artificial intelligence and its impact on the healthcare industry.”

“The number of startups entering the healthcare AI space has increased in recent years, with over 50 companies raising their first equity rounds since January 2015. Deals to healthcare-focused AI startups went up from less than 20 in 2012 to nearly 70 in 2016. Last year also saw two new unicorns emerge in the space: China-based iCarbonX and oncology-focused Flatiron Health.” CB Insights has identified over 100 companies that are applying machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics to reduce drug discovery times, provide virtual assistance to patients, and diagnose ailments by processing medical im ages, among other things.


General Electric’s healthcare division will partner with Partners Healthcare, the corporate parent of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Brigham & Women’s Hospital, two Harvard-associated teaching hospitals, under a 10 year agreement to develop artificial intelligence products for medicine.  Flannery, the GE Healthcare CEO, …  says commercialization of cloud-based radiology applications could occur in one to three years. “There will be an iTunes-like app store of programs offered to the physicians,”  Other companies would then use the infrastructure and data created by GE and its partners to create their own programs, all of which will run on a single application.

Already, AI is being applied in a number of systems, including a robotic Nurse and the following:

  • In the US, experts at University of North Carolina School of Medicine tested IBM Watson with a sample size of 1000 cancer cases. Surprisingly, in 99 percent of the cases, the platform gave the same recommendations as professional oncologists.

  • Stanford University researchers have developed an AI algorithm that can identify skin cancer. According to the results, the efficiency of this algorithm in diagnosing skin cancer rivals that of professional oncologists.

  • Google, through its DeepMind platform, is using machine learning to fight blindness by training a deep learning algorithm with a million anonymous eye scans. This will help spot eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy at early stages and might eventually be able to prevent 98 percent of severe visual loss cases.