Use of AI and ML in Healthtech Will Not Be Limited to Services Alone, Say These Experts

The healthcare segment will see significant entrepreneurial activity and more investment coming in the sector

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By Sanchita Dash

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The healthcare sector has been a witness to numerous technological advancements over the years. From bringing healthcare to your doorsteps to making a doctor's life a tad bit easier with automation, startups have been making a difference with healthtech. Technologies like predictive artificial intelligence have been a step in the right direction for the healthcare industry.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have also led to a spurt of devices which are driving the future of healthtech. A report on the Artificial Intelligence in the Healthcare Industry in India done by The Centre for Internet and Society, India, said that AI could potentially add USD 957 billion (or 15% of current gross value added) to the Indian economy by 2035 and investment in AI in the Indian healthcare industry appears to be growing. The report also states that of the USD 5.5 billion raised by global digital healthcare companies in the July-September 2017 quarter, at least 16 Indian healthcare IT companies received funding.

At a recent investment session Healthtech – Navigating the Innovation Landscape held by YES BANK and HealthStart Accelerator, the future of the sector was discussed. Startups and investors got together under one roof to talk about the advancements in the healthtech sector and how it's benefiting all. We spoke to experts about how the healthtech sector is set to change in India.

Innovations of the Future

During the engaging discussion, there was one common thread – AI and ML leading the race. Pradeep K. Jaisingh from HealthStart said that the major innovations in 2018 that they look forward to are around the use of artificial intelligence AI/ML in healthcare both for services as well as devices. "Exciting possibilities are in the areas like smart diagnostics for diseases like cancer etc. Other possible areas are mental health and Neurodegenerative diseases," he said.

Start-ups too believe in the power of AI and ML in the sector. Deepak Sahni, founder, Healthians believes that there is lot of new innovations expected in next 2-3 years in the Healthtech space. "The role AI and Machine learning is yet to show its strength in partnering with doctors for better choice of treatment and making it more personalized for patients," he said.

What To Expect

Healthcare, like other industries, too will look at bringing convenience to the consumers. Sahni added that point of care devices are about to bring whole new spectrum to early and fast diagnostics. He believes that one can soon expect Dental, Hair, Eye and Pathology tests being done at home becoming more prevalent along with innovations to bring ECG/ ECHO/ Mammogram to become accessible at home for many. "On one side point of care will offer convenience to the urban population and on the other side it will make right diagnosis accessible and affordable for rural population as well," he said.

Talking about the future, Sahni said that healthtech in 2018 will be much more than discovery and primary diagnosis. "The need and focus will shift to disease management and will have a holistic outcome driven treatment approach," said Sahni.

And this change will be driven by the entrepreneurial community. Jaisingh believes that the healthcare segment will see significant entrepreneurial activity and more investment coming in the sector. "Other big development will be M&A in the Sector which will result in consolidation and a few larger players emerging in the healthcare delivery space specifically," he said.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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