Advances in AI helping healthcare providers, patients throughout Asia

AI technologies are making a significant impact on the health of patients throughout Asia, according to a new report from MIT Technology Review Insights.

The 25-page report, “AI in health care: Capacity, capability and the future of active health in Asia,” is available on the MIT Technology Review Insights website. Baidu, a technology company based out of Beijing, China, sponsored its development.

Much of Asia is currently suffering from strained resources, and the situation is expected to get much worse in the years ahead. Fortunately, the report’s authors explained, advances in AI have helped provide some sense of relief for both healthcare providers and patients themselves.

The report also emphasized that it’s not just advances in AI that are important—its being able to explain how AI works to the public. The actual technology must ultimately still take a “supporting role” as the physicians themselves take the lead and engage patients as needed.

“By 2030, the World Health Organization estimates that Asia will require 12 million more healthcare professionals,” Claire Beatty, the report’s editor, said in a prepared statement. “Without AI technologies for increasing capacity, systems simply will not cope. The combination of government goal-setting and private sector R&D is a really promising development for healthcare innovation.”

“AI developments make high-quality medical resources more accessible, increase resource-sharing, and improve the efficiency of diagnosis and treatments,” Haifeng Wang, chief technology officer of Baidu, said in the same statement.

The report contrasts another recent finding that the AI hype in China––where a significant amount of investment has been taking place in the AI space––may be exceeding the actual output. Only a handful of platform technologies and market segments are seeing new innovations with AI products, the research report found.