The impact of artificial intelligence, or more specifically machine learning, is being felt in every industry sector, but perhaps nowhere more so than in healthcare, where AI funding hit historic highs in 2018, according to CB Insights.
The term AI is commonly used by the media and others to describe a computer-generated solution that is as good, or better than, a solution that could have been produced by a human. That often includes digital health tools that use algorithms programmed by researchers and clinicians. Machine learning is a subset of AI that uses neural networks to simulate or even expand on the level of data analysis that human minds are able to achieve. Deep learning is where software learns to recognize patterns. And these tools are already transforming diagnostic imaging.
CB Insights reports that since 2013, $4.3 billion in private equity has been invested in healthcare AI startups across 576 deals. That’s more than AI startups in any other industry have taken in.
In a way, healthcare and AI are almost made for each other. The healthcare sector produces tons of data, but most of it is not being leveraged to provide the kind of insights it potentially could. The hope is that AI will be able to sort through this mountain of information to provide novel insights to improve the treatment or enable the prevention of disease.
In this post, we have rounded up some of the most promising applications for AI/ML in healthcare and examples of companies that are making it happen.