Artificial Intelligence and Disease Diagnosis

The path to breakthrough innovation is usually paved by compelling reasons to address challenges. China’s flourishing economy and continuous progress of medical reform has driven rapid expansion in their healthcare system and significant service improvements. There are over one million medical institutions in China and insurance covers more than 95% of the Chinese population. Average life expectancy has reached 76.4 years – higher than in some high-income countries. As with other countries however, population aging has put enormous pressure on their healthcare system – a phenomenon likely to play out everywhere as baby boomers retire. New innovations are likely to improve healthcare efficiency and offer new ways to address these global healthcare challenges.

This recent World Economic Forum Article explores such a scenario. As described by the author, Medical AI has the potential to complement doctor resources and enable broader access to high-quality medical services. In places like China (an aging population of 1.4 billion) where the current supply of healthcare services falls short of the growing demand, breakthroughs like this are critical to addressing the challenge. Compelling reasons to act therefore accelerate innovation – just one driver of our exponential pace.

The article provides statistics on the advancement of image recognition technologies. Data from Tencent shows that diagnostic precision has reached new levels: recognition accuracy reaches 90% for esophageal cancer, 97% for diabetic retinopathy, and 97.2% for colorectal cancer. Chinese medical institutions and businesses are taking a proactive attitude towards AI. The article states that nearly 80% of hospitals and medical companies are either planning to, or have already carried out, medical AI applications, and more than 75% of hospitals believe that such applications will become popular in the future.

This is how innovation goes mainstream – and in this exponential age – it does so rapidly. As this unfolds, it leaves society with the task of Mapping the Path of Innovation.


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