More Research Concludes That Healthcare AI Adoption Is Expanding Rapidly

Not long ago, I shared a survey documenting a big year-to-year jump in the number of healthcare execs who reported having implemented an AI strategy.  Now, I have another set of data points on healthcare AI adoption to share with you, and I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that they, too, document an increasingly rapid AI uptake of these technologies.

As I should have done last time, I’d like to offer a clarification. For those who aren’t following AI’s emergence too closely, it should be noted that most of this growth seems to arise from enterprise use of machine learning and related technologies.  To date, I’ve seen few examples of, say, chatbots being put in place. I base this assertion primarily on my own observations, but they’ve been pretty consistent so far.

That being said, it’s still worth noting that healthcare organizations are getting comfortable with some forms of AI, especially as a data analytics tool. The latest evidence for this comes from RELX, which surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. senior executives across seven industries on their take on AI technologies.

RELX researchers concluded that across the seven industries, AI use has continued to climb over the last year, with 78% of responding that they were using such technologies. Fifty-four percent of executives said that they’re using AI to optimize systems and cut costs.

Healthcare executives were as enthused as their peers in other industries. According to RELX, 68% of healthcare leaders reported that their business was using AI, up from 46% in 2018. Not only that, 60% of them said their organization was expanding the use of AI to more areas of business.

Meanwhile, 94% of healthcare executives said that emerging technologies generally are helping to make their business more competitive, and 94% said they believed that U.S. companies should invest in developing an AI-savvy workforce through efforts like university partnerships.

RELX describes itself as a “global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools,” so it’s hardly surprising that it’s touting AI use at a time when most current AI applications are focused on data analytics.  Even so, it’s still interesting to read that such a large percentage of its respondents seem ready to move ahead with such applications. I can promise you that things were much different just a few years ago.

It’s still not clear yet when health leaders will move beyond analytics to other worthwhile uses of AI technology, but given that they are already trying AI out in new business areas, further experimentation seems likely to be on the way. Fun times!

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.