Half of hospitals to adopt artificial intelligence within 5 years

A new Healthcare IT News and HIMSS Analytics survey found population health and precision medicine among the initiatives where health IT professionals expect AI to have the greatest impact.
By Tom Sullivan
10:39 AM

About 35 percent of healthcare organizations plan to leverage artificial intelligence within two years — and more than half intend to do so within five.

That’s according to the Healthcare IT News and HIMSS Analytics HIT Market Indicator: Artificial Intelligence.

“If you look at those with plans to leverage AI in some way, shape or form, we’re going to see significant growth,” said Brendan FitzGerald, director of research at HIMSS Analytics.



While only 4.7 percent of the 85 survey respondents are already using AI technologies, the future looks promising. Indeed, 10.6 percent plan to adopt them within 12 months, 23.5 percent indicated they will within two years and another 24.7 percent in three to five years.

[Innovation Pulse: AI, machine learning will shatter Moore's Law in rapid-fire pace of innovation]

Participants ranked population health, clinical decision support, patient diagnosis and precision medicine, respectively, as the top places AI will have the most substantial initial impact.



Other areas include hospital and physician workflow, security, revenue cycle and drug discovery.

As with most emerging technologies, of course, there are barriers to adopting AI. Chief among those is the feeling that AI technologies are still in early stages of development and a difficulty understanding the immediate opportunities.

“There are a number of technologies that require considerable fine-tuning for the healthcare space and I don’t think AI is any different,” FitzGerald said.



FitzGerald cautioned that vendors will be trying to keep pace with the AI gold rush the way many did with population health and telemedicine to show they’re on top of the latest and greatest technologies in healthcare and ahead of where people are going, even some who are not actually AI companies.

“Once the industry has a handle on how to implement AI at the point of care,” Fitzgerald said, “the ability for AI to present clear and present opportunities may escalate adoption.”

Healthcare IT News and HIMSS Analytics are collaborating on HIT Market Indicator studies to highlight hot button issues across the healthcare IT landscape. This survey comprised responses from CEOs, CIOs, CFOs, COOs, chief medical information officers, chief clinical officers, as well as professionals working at the IT-director level and above. Previous studies include: More than half of hospitals hit with ransomware in last 12 months and Hospitals rank population health, value-based care, patient experience as top strategic drivers of precision medicine

Twitter: @SullyHIT

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