Future of AI in Healthcare in India: Opportunities and Challenges

Technology has certainly revolutionised the way health care is provided and received across the globe. Amongst the various available ‘new age’ tech solutions, Artificial intelligence is at the forefront and is also the most talked about in media and board rooms. Plethora of use cases are available where implementation of AI in healthcare has resulted in multifold of benefits in areas such as drug discovery, personalised care for chronic diseases, predictive healthcare diagnosis, automation of medical tests, efficient healthcare delivery and detecting abnormalities through medical images. The current pandemic crisis has accelerated the use of AI in managing the spread of the contagion through contract tracing, and vaccine development. To learn more, read my article: ‘How AI is helping to fight the pandemic.’

Benefits and Roadblocks

Despite the rewards most of these AI applications are seen outside India. A discussion paper floated by Indian government’s Niti Aayog places healthcare among one of the focus areas for AI intervention. For India, according to the Niti Aayog, an incremental USD 957 billion could be added to the GDP by 2035 by adopting AI in sectors such as healthcare and education, boosting India’s annual growth by 1.3 percentage points by 2035. Of all countries, India, with its dismal and egregious healthcare system and infrastructure, certainly can benefit from this technological disruption. AI has tremendous potential to bridge resource gaps in Indian healthcare framework, enhance the accessibility of quality care and ultimately reduce the burgeoning costs.

But still we hardly witness any major implementations of AI in India. Why is that and what are the key deterrents to the growth of AI in healthcare in India? Is it due to scarcity of funding, dearth of skills in AI, reluctance by doctors to adopt AI, lack of clear guidelines for AI adoption or the existing archaic regulatory infrastructure in India?

Inside View

Dr. Vikram Venkateswaran (Director, Deloitte and Founder of Healthcare in India) and Dr. Sumeet Kad recently engaged in an intriguing discussion on the role of AI in healthcare and what are the challenges holding back the adoption of AI in healthcare in India. Please click in the video below to watch and also share your comments (YouTube link: https://bit.ly/2AFXsmD)

(Direct video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgayQd45Crw)

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