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Adoption of AI-Tools are Increasing at Varying Levels Across the Indian Healthcare Ecosystem: IDC

A new report by IDC reflects that more than 50% of healthcare organisations expect an increase in demand for artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions during and after the pandemic in the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) and India has joined the bandwagon in a big way.

It is imperative for the healthcare organisations in India to drive human-machine collaboration and AI-driven interfaces to address the future health care needs in the country.

This use and adoption of AI can be seen at varying levels across the healthcare ecosystem. Machine learning can be used to address the issue of reporting in siloed Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and instead redirect these reports toward analysis and predictive modelling. AI technology can also be applied to preventative health programs. Machine learning can be used to merge an individual’s –omic (genome, proteome, metabolome, microbiome) data with other data sources such EHRs to predict the likelihood of developing a disease, which can then be addressed through timely interventions such as preventative therapy.

The research report focused on use of AI in healthcare at three levels:

Descriptive AI: is the most widely used in healthcare technology today, and holds the most promise in terms of short-term potential19. It quantifies events that have already occurred and uses this data to gain further insights, such as detecting trends and minor changes that may otherwise escape detection by medical professionals. For instance, such technology can be used to identify patterns in fracture detections and skin lesions. Additionally, these technologies have been shown to outperform humans in detecting subtle wrist fractures.

Predictive AI: uses descriptive data to attempt to make predictions about the future. AI is used by medical professionals to provide insights and suggest actions in a predictive manner.21 AI can play a significant role in predictive healthcare technologies and hospital management.

Predictive AI can perform the functions of a clinician, possibly substituting for human labour. Large parts of India presently face a shortage of primary care clinicians. Healthcare programs are limited by the lack of availability of clinicians and limited capacity. AI can help fill this gap.

Prescriptive AI: Furthers the purpose of predictive AI, and not only detects trends that may not be predicted by humans, but also suggests possible treatments based on nuances in the diagnosis. This decision-making ability makes prescriptive AI the most interesting and the most controversial use case in the near term.

The report looked into certain potential AI start-ups in India by underlining their innovative solutions as well as examining the barriers for healthcare organisations in adopting AI solutions.

Healthcare providers in the country that were already into EMR and AI-based imaging solutions tools were quick in deploying AI to tackle Covid-19.

As the complexity of diseases increases and to ensure a value-based care system, physicians will look for support for a clinical decision support system (CDSS), leveraging the power of quality patient data and AI.

“Healthcare providers in India are set to reprioritise the adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs),” said Manoj Vallikkat, Research Manager for IDC Asia/Pacific Healthcare.

“While deploying AI solutions, CIOs will have to look beyond technology by ensuring strict adherence to regulatory compliance, along with data governance and ethics, to ensure public trust and scalability,” Vallikkat added.

“The cost of the solution, lack of skilled personnel, and trustworthiness of data are areas that need to be addressed by healthcare organizations in the country for the seamless adoption of AI solutions,” the report mentioned.

“We are seeing the demand for AI/ML bolster in the Indian Healthcare space primarily driven by use cases like diagnosis, drug discovery, patient monitoring, and others,” said Rishu Sharma, Principal Analyst, Cloud and Artificial Intelligence, IDC India.

According to the report, CIOs of care providers will start prioritizing trusted data as their organizations migrate from a fee-for-service model (FFS) to value-based care.

AI adoption in the country will gain momentum with the recently announced ‘Digital Health ID’ by the Indian government.

This will also tend to generate an increased number of digital assets, leading to enhanced AI-based solutions to augment physician efficiency in the Indian healthcare system, the report said.

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