AI Is Transforming Healthcare as We Know It. Here’s a Look at the Future — and the Opportunities for Entrepreneurs.
Try to conceptualize all the medical knowledge in the world. How many books would it fill? How many topics would it cover? How many years would it take to learn in its entirety?
Now, imagine it doubling.
In 1950, researchers predicted it would take about 50 years for all available medical knowledge to double. But in 2020, estimates peg it at just 73 days.
Enter artificial intelligence (AI). It’s not humanly possible for medical professionals to keep up with the influx of constant new information about health conditions, treatments and medical technology. That’s why the healthcare industry is a real growth opportunity for AI and machine learning – – and the companies creating smart tools. Healthcare’s artificial intelligence market should increase elevenfold between 2014 and 2021, according to research from Accenture — that’s $600 million to $6.6 billion.
The difference between AI and machine learning
First, a quick detour to define AI and machine learning. Remember your elementary school teacher telling you that all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares? AI and machine learning have a similar relationship: Machine learning is one application of AI, and it operates on the premise that machines can use extensive amounts of data to learn for themselves and eventually recognize more of the unknown. AI — the advancement of computer systems to perform tasks usually limited to humans — is a broader concept that can be used for other applications besides machine learning. This has constantly developing implications for both consumer health and the healthcare industry as a whole.