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We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10.

– Bill Gates

Growth opportunities are hard to come by without significant investment, but one major opportunity is a self-running engine for growth in healthcare: artificial intelligence (AI). AI has an unimaginable potential. Within the next couple of years, it will revolutionize every area of our life, including healthcare marketing. According to Accenture Analysis, AI can 
potentially create $150 billion in annual savings for the U.S. healthcare economy by 2026. Growth in the AI health market is expected to reach $6.6 billion by 2021 (a compound annual growth rate of 40%.)

Big Data getting, well… Bigger!
With the evolution of digital capacity, more and more data is produced and stored in the digital space. The amount of available digital data is growing at a mind-blowing speed, doubling every two years. In 2013, it encompassed 4.4 zettabytes, however by 2020 the digital universe – the data we create and copy annually – will reach 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes! The world of Big Data is so huge that we will need artificial intelligence (AI) to be able to keep track of it.
AI in healthcare offers opportunities across a multitude of therapy areas, including wellness and lifestyle management, diagnostics, wearables and virtual assistants. Currently, robot-assisted surgery leads the AI pack from a value potential perspective. Precision of routine surgery is increasing, along with diversity of surgery, as is consumer confidence. This has dramatically reduced the typical patient length of stay also.

Whats in this for the marketers?
Perhaps the question isn’t so much of how AI will change healthcare marketing as it is about how artificial intelligence will shape the way your buyers research, shop and purchase. AI creates opportunities for brands and expectations from consumers that are unlike any that brands have previously experienced in the modern advertising age. The risks, opportunities, and impact of these changes are critical for marketers to grasp. Over time, AI will be able to suss out the why as well, further enabling your company’s ability to create just the right content, for just the right buyers, at exactly the right time and place.

Where else in healthcare is AI advancing?

Medical records and data management: Collecting it, storing it, normalizing it, tracing its lineage – it is the first step in revolutionizing the existing healthcare systems. Examples include the AI research branch of Google, of which launched the Deepmind Health project, used to mine the data of medical records in order to provide better and faster health services.

Precision medicine: AI will have a huge impact on genetics and genomics as well. Deep Genomics aims at identifying patterns in huge data sets of genetic information and medical records, looking for mutations and linkages to disease. They are inventing a new generation of computational technologies that can tell doctors what will happen within a cell when DNA is altered by genetic variation, whether natural or therapeutic.

Drug product creation: Developing pharmaceuticals through clinical trials take sometimes more than a decade and costs billions of dollars. Accelerating this and making it more cost-effective would have a huge effect on today’s healthcare and how innovations reach everyday medicine. Atomwise uses supercomputers that root out therapies from a database of molecular structures. Last year, they launched a virtual search for safe, existing medicines that could be redesigned to treat the Ebola virus. As a result, they found two drugs predicted by their AI technology which may significantly reduce the Ebola virus. This analysis, which typically would have taken months or years, was completed in less than one day.

Improving patient care: AI can organize patient routes or treatment plans better, and also provide physicians with literally all the information they need to make a solid decision. Additionally, there is a solution for monitoring patient adherence. The AiCure app supported by The NIH uses a smartphone’s webcam and AI to autonomously confirm that patients are adhering to their prescriptions, or supporting them to make sure they know how to manage their condition.

Virtual healthcare assistants: New AI technology can enhance interactions between patients and caregivers to both improve the consumer experience and reduce physician burden. Regarding nurses, AI can supposedly save approximately 20% of time through avoided unnecessary visits. The world’s first virtual nurse, Molly developed by the medical start-up Sense.ly. has a smiling, amiable face coupled with a pleasant voice and its goal is to help patients with monitoring their condition and treatment. It uses machine learning to support patients with chronic conditions in-between doctor’s visits. It provides proven, customized monitoring and follow-up care, with a strong focus on chronic diseases.

What does healthcare need to make AI really happen?
Firstly, public perception needs with remove the prejudices and fears regarding AI and help the general population understand how AI could be beneficial and how we can fight its possible dangers. One of the biggest fears is that AI will become so sophisticated that it will work better than the human brain. Stephen Hawking even said that the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. Elon Musk agreed.

Want to learn more from the movers and shakers in healthcare?

If you are a pharma/biotech & medical device marketing professional interested in learning how AI technology can potentially streamline your campaigns, consider joining us next month at our co-located unique ‘TED-style’ 2020 BioPharma & 2019 MedDev eMarketing Summits (May 5-7 2020  – in San Diego, CA). Seats are limited so sign up today!


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