By Jennifer Bresnick, Health IT Analytics | December 28, 2018

Spending on artificial intelligence in healthcare is expected to reach new heights by the middle of the 2020s.

The global market for artificial intelligence in healthcare is set for incredible growth over the next few years, according to new research from ReportLinker.

The AI in healthcare market is slated to expand from its current $2.1 billion to $36.1 billion in 2025, representing a staggering compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.2 percent.

This rapid increase in value for a relatively new but highly impactful market will be driven largely by North American investment, with the United States at the forefront of innovation and spending. 

Hospitals and physician providers will be the major investors in machine learning and artificial intelligence solutions and services, the report predicts.   

“A few major factors responsible for the high share of the hospitals and providers segment include a large number of applications of AI solutions across provider settings; ability of AI systems to improve care delivery, patient experience, and bring down costs; and growing adoption of electronic health records by healthcare organizations,” said the report.

“Moreover, AI-based tools, such as voice recognition software and clinical decision support systems, help streamline workflow processes in hospitals, lower cost, improve care delivery, and enhance patient experience.”

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Natural language processing (NLP) tools will play an important role in bringing these improvements to providers, continued the brief. 

NLP can translate speech into text, extract concrete data elements from unstructured input, and power chatbots that offer customer service or even basic triage for low-level complaints.

These services will be valuable to consumers seeking more convenient, on-demand access to care as well as among providers looking to reduce their keyboard time and simplify interactions with their electronic health records (EHRs).

Using artificial intelligence to create more intuitive, user-friendly workflows is a top goal for EHR developers moving into 2019, especially as provider burnout continues to rise and dissatisfaction with existing products hits a fever pitch.

Traditionally consumer-focused companies, such as Google and Amazon, are also rising to the challenge of creating AI-driven tools that can leverage NLP to capture key medical interactions and improve home monitoring for individuals with chronic disease.

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Combining machine learning with medical-grade or consumer-facing devices may exponentially increase the impact of both technologies, notes a separate report from Frost & Sullivan published in September of 2018.

Developing Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) strategies that match sophisticated sensors with AI-backed analytics will be key for developing the smart hospitals – and smart homes – of the future.

“Sensors, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and blockchain are vital technologies for IoMT as they provide multiple benefits to patients and facilities alike,” said Varun Babu, Senior Research Analyst, TechVision.

“For instance, they help with the delivery of targeted and personalized medicine while simultaneously ensuring seamless communication and high productivity within smart hospitals.”

These strategies are likely to contribute significantly to the predicted growth of the general artificial intelligence market as devices become smaller, cheaper, and more accepted by consumers and providers alike.

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The success of both AI and the IoMT depend on the fact that computing power is growing while the cost of hardware and data storage are dropping, added ReportLinker.

Companies well-known for their infrastructure prowess, including NVIDIA, AWS, Intel, IBM, and Microsoft, are tapped as likely leaders in a market that will increasingly blend algorithmic innovation with cloud storage and expert chip-making.

Entities that offer ongoing maintenance and support for their customers are likely to see greater success than vendors that take a hands-off approach to their products and services.

“For the successful deployment of AI, there is a need for deployment and integration, and support and maintenance services,” said the report.

Most companies do offer this critical support, ReportLinker acknowledged, positioning them well to attract more customers in this highly lucrative environment.

The report aligns well with previous market analyses that predict similarly impressive growth for the artificial intelligence segment. 

In August of 2018, Tractica offered a slightly more conservative estimate of $34 billion for the AI market by 2025, noting that deep learning – a subset of machine learning – is likely to contribute significantly to the market’s success.

Approximately $18 billion of the AI market will be focused on deep learning technologies, estimates Market Research Engine. 

Deep learning is ideally suited to analyzing images, and has already produced highly promising results for supporting radiologists and pathologists in diagnosing patient conditions.

Continued development of deep learning is likely to drive the growth of the medical imaging analytics market, expected to cross $2 billion by 2023, according to Signify Research.

Taken all together, these AI-based market segments are anticipated to contribute significantly to the ongoing improvement in accuracy, speed, and user-friendly design of the health IT landscape.

While AI developers and healthcare organization leaders may need to overcome lingering reluctance from users to adopt next-generation analytics tools, resistance is likely to wane as providers and vendors generate more evidence of the value of AI to consumers and providers.

Original Article