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With immense power to unleash improvements in cost, quality and access, AI is exploding in
popularity. Growth in the AI health market is expected to reach $6.6 billion by 2021—that’s a
compound annual growth rate of 40 percent (see Figure 1).
In just the next five years, the health AI market will grow more than 10x.2 Growth is already accelerating, as
the number of healthcare-focused AI deals went up from less than 20 in 2012, to
nearly 70 by mid-2016.
Growth is perhaps no surprise as AI delivers what many healthcare organizations today need, especially as
companies weather the financial and operational turbulence of rising labor costs, digital expectations from
consumers and increasing demand for interoperability, among other challenges.
Exemplified by the flurry of new entrants and explosion of data—which, combined with analytics—is leading
to smarter systems, the case for AI adoption is stronger than ever. Health AI presents opportunities across a
diverse set of therapy areas, including wellness and lifestyle management, diagnostics, wearables and virtual
assistants. To fully comprehend the opportunity, healthcare organizations must understand the full taxonomy
of AI applications— and the potential value each delivers financially, but also by way of organizational and
workflow improvements.


According to Accenture’s analysis, there are four areas to focus on:

WORKFORCE. The nature of work and employment is rapidly changing5 and will continue to evolve to make
the best use of both humans and AI talent. For example, AI offers a way to fill in gaps amid the rising labor
shortage in healthcare. According to Accenture analysis, the physician shortage alone is expected to double in
the next nine years.
INSTITUTIONAL READINESS. To realize greater value from AI, healthcare players can incorporate AI
expertise in their organization’s structure and governance. For instance, assigning a lead who is tasked with
keeping apprised of AI adoption within the organization.
Governance and the operating model should also be revamped to align with an AI-enabled organization.
Furthermore, healthcare organizations should build an AI-smart workforce and culture that will use AI to
enhance efficiency, quality and outcomes for patients.
Artificial intelligence (AI) aims to mimic human cognitive functions. It is bringing a paradigm
shift to healthcare, powered by increasing availability of healthcare data and rapid progress of
analytics techniques. We survey the current status of AI applications in healthcare and discuss its
future. AI can be applied to various types of healthcare data (structured and unstructured).
Popular AI techniques include machine learning methods for structured data, such as the classical
support vector machine and neural network, and the modern deep learning, as well as natural
language processing for unstructured data. Major disease areas that use AI tools include cancer,
neurology and cardiology. We then review in more details the AI applications in stroke, in the
three major areas of early detection and diagnosis, treatment, as well as outcome prediction and
prognosis evaluation.
There is no universally agreed definition of AI. The term broadly refers to computing
technologies that resemble processes associated with human intelligence, such as reasoning,
learning and adaptation, sensory understanding, and interaction.1 Currently, most applications
of AI are narrow, in that they are only able to carry out specific tasks or solve pre-defined

In this article, we survey the current status of AI in healthcare, as well as discuss its future. We
first briefly review four relevant aspects from medical investigators’ perspectives:
1. motivations of applying AI in healthcare
2. data types that have be analysed by AI systems
3. mechanisms that enable AI systems to generate clinical meaningful results
4. disease types that the AI communities are currently tackling.
The advantages of AI have been extensively discussed in the medical literature. AI can use
sophisticated algorithms to ‘learn’ features from a large volume of healthcare data, and then use
the obtained insights to assist clinical practice. It can also be equipped with learning and self-
correcting abilities to improve its accuracy based on feedback. An AI system can assist
physicians by providing up-to-date medical information from journals, textbooks and clinical
practices to inform proper patient care. In addition, an AI system can help to reduce diagnostic
and therapeutic errors that are inevitable in the human clinical practice Moreover, an AI system
extracts useful information from a large patient population to assist making real-time inferences
for health risk alert and health outcome prediction.
Before AI systems can be deployed in healthcare applications, they need to be ‘trained’ through
data that are generated from clinical activities, such as screening, diagnosis, treatment
assignment and so on, so that they can learn similar groups of subjects, associations between
subject features and outcomes of interest. These clinical data often exist in but not limited to
the form of demographics, medical notes, electronic recordings from medical devices, physical
examinations and clinical laboratory and images.

Our analysis of mHealth reveals mobile is positioned to have a huge impact on how healthcare is
delivered. It offers opportunities to address one of the most pressing global challenges: making
healthcare more accessible, faster, better and cheaper.
Mobile is accelerating trends in healthcare
Three major trends already happening in healthcare lend themselves to the revolution in mobile