Artificial intelligence (AI) has increasingly been permeating many industries in the last few years, and among them is the medical devices industry. Like in many other industries, AI is particularly useful in accelerating the process of time-intensive and resource-intensive tasks, as well as aiding in decision-making processes. The beneficial impacts of AI in medical are thus far-reaching with great potential.
A common use of AI in medical has been in diagnostic settings, using the speed and accuracy of AI algorithms in diagnosing difficult-to-identify image abnormalities missed by the human eye. The consequence of this is that more patient profiles can be reviewed while also minimising any potential misdiagnoses. The underlying technology that drives this trend is referred to as computer vision, and its diagnostic applications are leveraged by wide-ranging specialists.
The use of AI in decreasing error rates of cancer detection has already been well demonstrated, where one study as far back as 2016 by Wang and colleagues showed that pathologists who had utilised AI in detecting cancer-positive lymph nodes had reduced their error rate from 3.4% to 0.5%. Furthermore, due to the ability of AI to flag potential indication-positive cases in a fraction of the time it takes for physicians, with similar if not greater accuracy, many additional patient profiles can be reviewed with unprecedented speed.
Many companies, including startups such as Aidoc, are specialising in medical imaging using AI and its associated deep learning technology. In fact, most of the AI-related investments are poured into those within the imaging and diagnostic spaces, as more traditional hardware and surgical instrument-focused MedTech companies have relatively limited opportunities to incorporate such technologies in their products.
The importance of early detection of any indication cannot be understated; thus, the ability of AI to improve and analyse difficult-to-detect tissue abnormalities, symptoms, and complex patient profiles will enable earlier interventions and improved patient outcomes.
According to GlobalData, this market is forecast to exceed $1.2bn by 2027, up from $336m in 2022, representing a compound annual growth rate of 29.1%. When grouped among the healthcare provision and pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies are expected to experience the least revenue growth from AI platforms, given the limited nature of digital devices in this industry.
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