Healthcare companies in India are beginning to understand the possibilities artificial intelligence (AI) can unlock for the sector and are working on deploying them across operations.
Around 90% of C-level executives in healthcare companies already have an AI strategy in place from a moderate to very large extent. For 54% of the participants covid-19 played a part in driving up AI adoption and strategy, claims a new report by BML Munjal University. The report is based on a survey of 50 C-level executives and partners in mid to large healthcare organisations in India.
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According to the report, 72% of the participants belonged to organisations with over 500 employees, while 24% were from hospitals, 28% from pharmaceuticals, 22% from medical equipment and insurance, 18% from telecommunication and digital health and 8% from diagnostics and research.
Though the interest in AI is growing, the report shows that more than 75% of the adoption was at an early stage, while less than 25% was in late stages. Around 98% of the participants said they have seen moderate to significant gains, while 62% saw significant benefits from their AI deployment.
Further the report shows that AI deployment has been diverse and spread across various company operations. IT process improvements, manufacturing efficiency enhancement, operational improvements, and providing a superior customer experience are some of the core areas where AI is being leveraged most.
In terms of future impact of AI, 80% of the industry leaders felt the technology will play a critical role in improving operational efficiency, 72% feel it will improve disease detection and diagnostics, 56% feel it will offer better patient experience and satisfaction, while 54% feel it will lead to cost savings and enhancing reach.
Capital constraint is the biggest challenge to AI deployment for most healthcare companies. Trust on AI is another, followed by lack of skills and knowledge. Executives are aware of the importance of skills and 76% of participants said they are investing on it. Many executives also concerned about the potential impact on jobs in short term, however, 52.5% participants feel in the longer term AI will create more jobs than it will take away. Deep learning experts, chatbot designers, tele surgery specialists and robot engineers are some of the job profiles that will in big demand in healthcare sector in the future.
The report further highlighted the importance of regulation in AI, as going forward India will see many patents and trademarks in the field. Though India has put a lot of emphasis on leveraging and last October also organised a global AI summit to create awareness and help startups showcase their AI products, the report points out there is still no regulatory body on AI in the country.
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