Survey: adoption of AI in healthcare to be ‘widespread’ within 5 years

While participants in the survey believe that a cautious approach to testing, implementing, and scaling AI tools will be critical for success, they are also eager to reap the many potential rewards.

Jeff Rowe | Aug 13, 2018 12:00 am

While the move to flash storage is usually viewed in the context of rapidly growing piles of health data, stakeholders are also mindful of the role better storage will play as new technologies come on line across the healthcare sector.

For example, according to a recent survey by Intel and Convergys Analytics, artificial intelligence is quickly gaining interest across the healthcare industry as pilots and limited deployments start to prove their value. 

Indeed, more than half of healthcare professionals surveyed believe “widespread adoption” is less than five years away, and close to 20 percent believe it will take less than two years to reach full-scale adoption.

Moreover, according to an analysis of the survey by HealthITAnalytics, “about 37 percent of respondents are already using artificial intelligence within their organizations in one form or another, the poll revealed. Clinical applications are most common, with 77 percent of current users leveraging AI for decision support, risk scoring, medication safety warnings, and other patient-facing tasks.  Forty-four percent are turning to AI for operational support, while only a quarter (26 percent) are tackling financial problems.”

Among survey respondents, “eighty-eight percent believe that AI will improve overall care, and 83 percent anticipate more accurate diagnostic capabilities.  Three-quarters added that automating tasks with AI will allow clinicians to spend more time with their patients, and 81 percent believe that machine learning can improve efficiency and lower costs.”

To be sure, many stakeholders remain wary – “More than a third of survey participants think that patients will balk at the idea of having an algorithm aid in their care, and 30 percent believe that the biggest obstacle will come from providers themselves. –  but participants also believe companies that hesitate to invest in AI will fall behind their competitors.  For example, eighty-three percent of respondents agreed that AI will provide a competitive edge, with 23 percent “strongly agreeing” with the statement.

“At the end of the day, we are all consumers of healthcare, and we should feel confident that advances in technology can ensure we receive high-quality, affordable care,” noted Jennifer Esposito, worldwide general manager of Health and Life Sciences at Intel, in a release accompanying the survey.


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