Healthcare faces growing worker shortages, widening health disparities and unsustainable spending. AI can help – if we let it. Artificial intelligence offers hope for early disease detection, combating outbreaks and achieving breakthroughs in medicines. Collaboration is crucial to achieving this, World Economic Forum says in a report about smart solutions with AI in health care.
The report says that healthcare has been relatively slow to adopt AI-driven tools and solutions due to a growing tension between the incredible things AI makes possible and the human trust needed to put them to use.
“The healthcare sector is grappling with critical challenges, such as a shortage of frontline workers, health disparities and escalating spending. AI promises transformative potential to tackle these issues.”
“Today’s global health and healthcare stakeholders face a perfect storm of systemic challenges. Healthcare consumers live in an era of worsening well-being and physical health due to the increasing burden of mental health conditions and chronic illnesses, putting serious strain on systems due to greater demand.”
- Three factors are driving the adoption of AI in healthcare: the exponential growth of medical data, a healthcare provider shortage (exacerbated, but not caused, by the COVID-19 pandemic) and advances in what AI technology is capable of.
- Top use cases for sustained multilateral cooperation are in the areas of AI-driven diagnosis and risk stratification, clinical trial optimization, and outbreak intelligence and prediction.
- Several additional areas, including administrative, workflow and training solutions; automated triage processes; supply chain and manufacturing; and drug discovery also deserve greater exploration and may hold equal promise.
- To maximize the impact of AI in healthcare, data must be plentiful, useable and representative (to minimize bias); design must aid adoption by being transparent and inclusive, and applications must be seamless and scalable.
- Even with sustained public-private investment, strong data foundations and thoughtful, ethical AI policies must be implemented to build trust and accelerate adoption in an appropriate way.
The report says that acting on the recommendations will require coordinated effort between public- and private-sector leaders. Creating change in health and healthcare requires multilateral partnerships across health systems, consumers, governments and civil society.