Natural language processing in high demand

Market expected to grow big time over next 5 years
By Bernie Monegain
10:14 AM
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The global healthcare Natural Language Processing (NLP) market is expected to grow from $1.10 billion in 2015 to $2.67 billion by 2020, according to a new report.

That forecast translates to a compound annual growth rate of 19.2 percent.

"Natural Language Processing Market for Health Care and Life Sciences Industry by Type (Rule-Based, Statistical, and Hybrid NLP Solutions) – Worldwide Forecast and Analysis to 2015 – 2020" is published by MarketsandMarkets,

The explosive growth in healthcare and life sciences industries, with their vast troves of unstructured clinical data in EHRs, are the main market drivers.

As the report describes it, NLP technologies assist machines in understanding the language used by humans to communicate both reading and writing. This form of communication assists the computer in performing various other additional tasks. NLP techniques extract important information from the vast amount of clinical data and analyze it for enhanced processing and analytics.

[See also: Watson-like tech tackles readmissions.]

Applications include processing of enormous amounts of data by utilizing high-end NLP technologies for information extraction, automatic speech recognition, machine translation, and dialogue systems.

The demand in this market is highly driven by the tremendous increase in unstructured clinical data.

The increase in the usage of the Internet and connected devices are some other factors pushing this market and creating value in the market, according to the report. The practice patterns used by physicians for the documentation of clinical notes as well as patient discharge summaries have generated an enormous amount of unstructured data. Such voluminous data needs to be structured and analyzed effectively for enhanced reporting and analytics.

As a result, healthcare providers are looking for solutions incorporating high-end NLP technologies.

[See also: 5 benefits of natural language understanding for healthcare.]

Market segments
North America is expected to be the largest market on the basis of spending and adoption of NLP solutions for the healthcare and life sciences industry. The NLP market is broadly segmented by type of solutions into rule-based NLP, statistical NLP, and hybrid NLP; by type of technologies into recognition technologies and operational technologies; by type of services into professional services and support and maintenance services; by deployment model into on-premises and on-demand; and by region into North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa.

The rule-based NLP technologies in the healthcare and life sciences industry has high adoption rate as compared to other types of solutions in the NLP market. However, the statistical NLP type is expected to grow with higher rate. Also, due to lower cost of integration and installation of NLP solutions, the professional services segment is holding the majority of market size as compared to support and maintenance services.

The key vendors in the market are 3M, IBM, Cerner, Nuance, Microsoft, Health Fidelity, Apixio, Linguamatics, Optum and Dolbey Systems.