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28th March 2024

One year later: AI and Big Data in Healthcare

“More than half of medical professionals everywhere know to anticipate the seismic shift poised by technology to revolutionise healthcare.”

– Alex Diaconu, Co-Founder and CEO at Aigia Health

How have perceptions of AI and big data in MedTech evolved over the past year, and is the industry ready for the big changes brought on by the most rapid tech advancements?

Experts on AI and Big Data

These topics and more were thoroughly explored in the panel titled Artificial Intelligence & Big Data: The Game Changers, held during the MedTech World Dubai Roadshow last February.

The panel was moderated by Rachel McArthur, Founder and Managing Editor at Digital Ink Media. McArthur is a MENA Healthcare Journalist & Editor by profession, empowering journalists, photographers, and video producers to specialise in creating engaging news and feature editorial content for top media outlets in the UAE and beyond.

Arthur was joined by the following experts for an engaging discussion:

  • Philippe Gerwill, Chief Communications Officer at My Anna Health;
  • Alex Diaconu, Co-Founder and CEO at Aigia Health;
  • Shaukat Ali Khan, Global Chief Information Officer at Aga Khan University;
  • Dr. Sven Jansen, CEO at Neo Q Quality in Imaging GmbH;
  • Dr. Hemachandran Kannan, Director of the AI Research Centre at Woxsen University.

McArthur set the stage by noting the context of AI and big data over the past few years, and how there has been an evolution of perceptions over the past year. “We have transitioned from the initial hysteria surrounding fears of AI replacing humans to a more nuanced understanding that emphasises the enduring necessity of human involvement in our daily operations.”

Moreover, she facilitated discourse on the diverse use-cases for AI, such as predictive analytics and wearables, encouraging additional insights from experts on noteworthy advancements in the field.

The industry’s readiness for innovation

The conversation definitely illuminated the delicate equilibrium between harnessing AI for efficiency and maintaining human involvement in decision-making processes within the healthcare sector.

“Over half of medical professionals are anticipating the seismic shift poised to revolutionise healthcare through technology,” remarked Alex Diaconu, underscoring the industry’s awareness of upcoming technological advancements. However, he raised concerns regarding the industry’s preparedness, citing challenges in staffing medical facilities and ensuring current workforces are adequately trained in the latest technology. 

This issue is further compounded by the emergence of generative AI, exacerbating the need for comprehensive workforce education and adaptation strategies. The shortage of healthcare professionals presents a critical concern, where Dr. Sven Jensen emphasised that in “the next three years, 50 percent of the nurses will retire.” 

This impending shortfall underscores the urgency for innovation and adaptation.

Lightening the load of an overburdened industry

Philippe Gerwill echoed these concerns, noting the concerning trends in nurse shortages and the widening gap in healthcare provision, particularly evident in the ageing population. The scarcity of healthcare professionals extends beyond nurses to general practitioners, intensifying the strain on healthcare systems globally.

Gerwill emphasised that one of the key issues addressed by AI and digital data solutions is the inefficiency prevalent in our current healthcare systems. 

“We’re facing a situation where it’s nearly impossible to secure a timely appointment with a GP, especially in urgent cases like having the flu. When you’re left with no option but to head to the emergency room, already burdened with patients, for minor issues like a fever and sore throat, it exacerbates the problem rather than addressing it effectively.”

On a similar note, Dr. Hemachandran Kannan highlighted the need for efficient healthcare delivery amidst burgeoning patient populations, underscoring the role of predictive analytics in streamlining patient care. 

“We’ve delved into predictive analytics, tailoring our approach to extract invaluable insights from patient histories. By meticulously analysing past records, including medical conditions, blood glucose levels, and current symptoms, we’ve developed a comprehensive dashboard for healthcare professionals.”

Innovations such as customised predictive models and mobile applications offer solutions to alleviate the burden on healthcare infrastructure, particularly in resource-constrained settings.

From debate to practical use-cases

Shaukat Ali Khan emphasised the transformative potential of technology in extending healthcare access to underserved regions. 

“In our regions spanning Asia, Africa, and the Atlantic, we’re positioned within top-tier universities and operate in areas known for excellence. A paramount focus for us lies in extending access to remote regions. Ensuring inclusivity across all regions, particularly those currently underserved, remains imperative for our overarching goal of global healthcare equity.”

He stressed the need to shift focus from debating the use of data and AI to exploring their practical applications in enhancing healthcare delivery. Khan exemplified the power of technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, illustrating how rapid deployment of digital solutions can optimise patient care and resource utilisation.

Stakeholders across the globe in the healthcare industry recognize the imperative for leveraging technology to address critical challenges such as workforce shortages and healthcare accessibility. 

By embracing innovative solutions and fostering inclusivity in technological ecosystems, healthcare systems can enhance resilience and adaptability in an ever-evolving landscape.

Look out for our upcoming Roadshows

With our successful Dubai show behind us, let’s set our sights on the thrilling destinations for our upcoming roadshows.

Our first stop: Berlin. We’re excited to be collaborating with 5-HT Chemistry & Health for this event, offering fresh industry insights and networking opportunities. Make sure to mark your calendars for April 8th and join us in the lively capital of Germany, celebrated for its iconic landmarks and rich cultural heritage.

Don’t forget to jot down the dates for our upcoming shows:

Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for updates and further details!