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From Information to Intelligence: Are we ready for the next wAIve in healthcare?/ai-insights/from-information-to-intelligence-are-we-ready-for-the-next-waive-in-healthcare

From Information to Intelligence: Are we ready for the next wAIve in healthcare?

March 28, 2024

From Information to Intelligence: Are we ready for the next wAIve in healthcare?

2023 – the year when GenAI broke AI from the realms of only data scientists and engineers and into masses, with ChatGPT taking just 5 days to reach >1 million users (compared to Netflix taking >40, Facebook >10). It was the final ripple in a series of ebbs-and-AI-flows that has led to the final surge and peaking of the next greatest technological wave in human history; the AI wave. The AI healthcare market is expected to grow at a CAGR of >47% for the next five years with Asia Pacific outpacing global growth at >50% CAGR. Like an approaching tsunami, as we look upon the approaching surge of this next technological era, AI presents unprecedented opportunity matched with unprecedented risk; how do we ensure we harness this evolving technology and domesticate this potential looming threat to healthcare’s best friend?

The Peaks

AI will become ubiquitous. Not just on everyone’s lips, but across the healthcare system, disrupting and evolving every aspect of the healthcare system:

The Peaks

The Troughs

AI is a tool and emerging enabler, not a silver bullet. And its promise of ubiquity is also its greatest risk; where we have already seen governments, regulators, and consortiums arise to ensure AI enhances the humanity of healthcare rather than erode it.

There are numerous threats from the development, provisioning, and deployment of AI with the emergence of LLMs democratizing use; which led to WHO to publish guidance for healthcare ecosystems globally. Some of these are discussed frequently in forums from a ‘technology-risk’ perspective (Privacy, Cyber, False responses/hallucinations). However, we challenge there are broader macro-risks at a ‘system-level-risk’ that require a collective understanding and response:

The Troughs

Talent

It’s a Tsunami – Sink or Swim

Regardless of how the reader feels (opportunity or threat) about AI, the reality is it will unavoidably and undeniably infiltrate the healthcare ecosystem in the next decade (less so!). Like all history-altering technological events of the past (the wheel, fire, electricity, paper-print), if we don’t make the effort to understand (after all knowledge is power) and match the intelligence that AI promises, we’ll find ourselves at the mercy of algorithms and beacon is not an era of intelligence…but lack therefore.

Although there is notable focus in the industry to work with regulators and policy-makers to support access and reimbursement pathways for AI, we challenge a broader system-level discussion that – if AI was made widely available (volume) and effectively reimbursement and funded (pricing), would we and the broader ecosystem be ready? If we opened the floodgates, do we have the system-level capability and readiness (companies, policy-makers, payors, patients, and providers) to effectively leverage the value of AI and proactively address the risks? One thing is certain, the wave is coming. Our greatest risk is inaction or ignorance, we must be prepared to know our unknowns and be comfortable with diving into perhaps the uncomfortable as we learn to surf together this AI wave and avoid a wipeout.

Are you AI Future-Ready?

System-level readiness requires a conscious and proactive effort by individuals, companies, and systems in the healthcare ecosystem. Specifically, proactively address access mechanisms (reimbursement) and suitable protections (regulation) but also readiness; ensuring proactive robust AI strategies at a company-level, user-level (patient and provider), and system-level (policy) which ensure the collective ecosystem is equipped with the appropriate capability, skills, processes, and controls to ensure the ecosystem AI-empowerment and intelligence-matching.

We note this is a transformative undertaking that we won’t solve in a simple blog. However, we encourage readers to, when planning for the year (or beyond) ahead ensure strategies are building toward appropriate capability (skills, capacity, processes, controls) at all levels and reviewing

internally (a) what do we directly need to establish (controllable, internally) and (b) what do we need to support and collaborate for success (indirect, external collaborations)

Are you AI Future-Ready?

The prescription

We have a direct responsibility to ensure we as individuals and companies are ready but also empowering and collectively collaborating with the ecosystem to instill and propagate readiness. myself included. So, get in touch - let's be bold and be ready to ride the AI wave, together.

Views expressed in this article are personal to the author.