While the loudest buzz around AI in healthcare continues to emanate from clinical and research quarters, an easily overlooked subpopulation is watching with keen interest: hospital supply-chain executives and the vendor reps who call on them.

DeepMind Technologies Ltd., the Google/Alphabet-owned elephant in the AI research room, has lost more than $1 billion over the past three years. And it owes another billion to creditors who’ll be looking for their money back, with interest, over the next year or so.

An eight-hospital health system in the Pacific Northwest has set up an AI-based “mission control center” to manage patient capacity, bed availability, hospital transfers and patients’ health status.

Only 51% of consumers feel optimistic or safe when it comes to AI infiltrating the healthcare space in the form of helping providers in diagnostic decision making and care management, according to a recent survey from Blumberg Capital.

If IBM’s Watson goes down as an early failure of AI in healthcare, the fumble may be recorded as an unforced error made by humans who were determined to position the company as the first serious player on the field.  

Healthcare leaders working for provider organizations and medical societies see AI as the best emerging technology for reducing risk. Meanwhile they see online media as the riskiest technology.

AI, blockchain and mHealth apps specific to Big Data are among eight emerging technologies healthcare watchers would do well to keep an eye on, according to a consumer-friendly roundup published Aug. 7 in the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. 

Only half of hospital leaders are conversant in AI and robotic process automation (RPA) technologies aimed at achieving nonclinical efficiencies. However, 23% want to invest in the technologies today and some 50% say they’ll do so by 2021.

The first half of the year has been good to the healthcare space for those startup companies looking for funding, as the sector has seen a record influx of cash, according to a recent report from CB Insights.

An AI health services startup company based in the U.K has raised a whopping $550 million in a recent series C funding round. The company, Babylon Health, developed a chatbot used by the National Health Service in the U.K. and is now valued at more than $2 billion.

An AI-enabled system for detecting seniors’ falls on video monitors has cut unnecessary use of EMT and emergency services by 80% in a pilot study.

AI in healthcare has long been touted as an innovative technology that will accelerate care treatments and even replace some tasks performed by clinicians. But its impact might be inequitable in the future.