AI and IoT could make a big splash in healthcare … eventually
Five years ago, famed venture capitalist and former CEO of Sun Microsystems Vinod Khosla penned a controversial treatise titled “Do We Need Doctors Or Algorithms?” As you might expect, he argued in favor of algorithms: “Eventually, we won’t need the average doctor and will have much better and cheaper care for 90% to 99% of our medical need,” he wrote, arguing that AI is destined to become the underpinning for the healthcare system.
While the career prospects for doctors remain bright and medical applications of AI are still limited, healthcare stands to benefit immensely from the intersection of the Internet of Things and technologies like machine learning and data analytics. For one thing, there is a real need for sweeping change in the field. Medical care, especially in the United States, remains notoriously inefficient despite rising costs. But the problem isn’t limited to a single country. Up to one-fifth of healthcare spending throughout OECD nations is waste, according to research the organization released in January. Other global regions, from Africa to Asia, are also wrestling with rising costs. In Africa, for instance, the cost of diabetes treatment could triple by 2030. And in China, quickly rising medical costs are forcing many patients into debt.
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