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AI healthcare spending set for major rise

(Image credit: Image Credit: Geralt / Pixabay)

Healthcare and pharma industries are set to increase technology spend - especially where artificial intelligence (AI) is concerned - by more than four times over the next five years, claims a new report from ABI Research.

While tech spend last year amounted to $463 million, ABI Research expects spending  among hospitals and other healthcare institutions to grow to more than $2 billion within half a decade.

According to the report, some of the world’s most significant tech companies (such as Google and Alibaba) are already working on building AI tools to help healthcare workers better detect and monitor the spread of coronavirus.

The report claims AI will be used in bioinformatics – analysing the virus’ RNA to help develop medications. DeepMind, Graphen, Nvidia and Intel are already working on speeding up drug discovery.

"Artificial Intelligence is playing a key role in responding to the pandemic," said Lian Jye Su, Principal Analyst at ABI Research.

"Now, no single drug can combat the virus effectively. In order to get ahead of the ever-evolving virus and to save as many lives as possible, new drug discovery, development, and testing processes need to be set up, as the conventional method is no longer suitable."

Although the ability to model virus transmission is a useful quality of AI, its use cases in the healthcare industry expand far further.