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Transforming Healthcare with AI: Application Areas & Future Potential – India Perspective

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Transforming Healthcare with AI: Application Areas & Future Potential – India Perspective
Fri, 07/09/2021 – 12:52

Indian healthcare
Source: NASSCOM_EY Report – Unravelling AI for Healthcare in India

Data and AI has the potential to contribute $25-$30 bn. to Healthcare sector in India by 2025

Indian healthcare – comprising of hospitals, medical devices/equipment manufacturers, diagnostic labs, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, health insurance* – is one of the country’s largest sectors, both in terms of revenue and employment.

However, despite the sector’s scale, growth and investments by both public and private players to bolster the quality and coverage of medical products and services, India still ranks low on the Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) index. The sector has been struggling to balance between the three interlocking factors of the classic healthcare iron triangle of cost, quality and access, where it is difficulty to improve all the factors simultaneously.



How can AI contribute to the healthcare sector?

AI offers several advantages in healthcare allowing humans to gain unprecedented insights into diagnostics, treatment variability, and patient outcomes, a few key areas where AI can benefit comprise

  • Personalized treatment plans
  • Accelerated drug development
  • Early disease detection
  • Targeted preventive care

While the healthcare organizations are in their digital journey to provide accessible, affordable and quality healthcare, COVID-19 has aggravated number of challenges faced by the industry. This has created an urgency to adopt digital technologies especially AI-powered solutions to survive and thrive the pandemic.  

AI has the potential to transform the healthcare sector breaking the rigid iron triangle of healthcare by simultaneously reducing cost, enhancing quality and improving accessibility of services, which is even more critical in these trying times.

AI Healthcare Iron Triangle
Source: NASSCOM-EY Report – Unravelling AI for Healthcare in India

This makes it imperative to understand the AI opportunities available in the healthcare space across the key value chain segments enabling the sector to scale the AI-led benefits, having a far-reaching impact. Some of the examples of how AI is playing a key role in the space are listed below

  • Apollo Hospitals Group partners with will supply its red dot® algorithm to Apollo Hospitals’ network of 71 hospitals in India, comprising 12,000 beds for instant COVID-19 triage
  • Niramai launches home screening service for breast health, a portable, non-invasive, radiation-free, contactless solution to measure temperature of chest region to detect early-stage breast cancer
  • Qure.AIs chest X-ray solution identifies and detects abnormalities on a chest X-ray, interprets a COVID-19 patient’s lung scans in seconds and quantifies how much of their lungs have been affected by the viral infection

Role of data and AI in delivering economic value by 2025 – How will healthcare be impacted?

NASSCOM report on Unlocking Value from Data and AI – The India Opportunity, highlights that Data and AI could add $450-$500 billion to India’s GDP by 2025, representing ~10% of the $5 trillion aspiration pre-COVID-19.

AI Healthcare Contribution GDP
Source: NASSCOM Report – Unlocking Value from Data and AI – The India Opportunity

Healthcare sector is a significant beneficiary of the potential economic value add with a contribution of $25-$30 billion. Some of the areas that will drive this potential comprise

  • Timely epidemic outbreak prediction
  • Remote diagnostics and treatment
  • Optimized health resource allocation

From a functional perspective for the pharmaceuticals and medical products specifically – Operations (e.g. manufacturing, supply chain) & Marketing and sales (e.g. channel, pricing, promotions) are the top functions that show significant promise from a future potential perspective.

AI Healthcare Functional Contribution
Source: NASSCOM Report – Unlocking Value from Data and AI – The India Opportunity

NASSCOM-EY report on Unravelling AI for Healthcare in India provides a periodic table that highlights the spectrum of AI use cases focused on addressing specific healthcare value chain challenges that will help organizations understand the best-fit use case and come up with a sustainable action plan for AI within their environment.

Stay tuned for our AI in Healthcare PoV that provides a snapshot of the sector highlighting key India-specific AI use cases in the space. 

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