Artificial intelligence: The future of healthcare diagnostics is here to stay

Artificial intelligence: The future of healthcare diagnostics is here to stay

By Aikaterini Britzolaki

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become synonymous with transformative medicine. One can say that AI is the inexhaustible support healthcare needs, or even the necessary evolutionary trait for healthcare to adapt and survive. So naturally, when a pandemic such as COVID-19 presented the biggest ever challenge for healthcare, AI became the solution, paving the way for further AI applications in preventive medicine, including wearables, sensors, and other assistive technologies. Here, we discuss how advances in artificial intelligence for diagnostics are changing medicine as we know it.

The next big thing in healthcare is here now!

The facts:

  • 43% of IT professionals globally reported rollouts of AI by their companies as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 98% of healthcare organizations have or plan on implementing an AI strategy.
  • $8.5 billion of venture capital funding has been invested in the global top-50 AI healthcare-related firms as of 2020.
  • Asia, and China in particular, presents the fastest growth in healthcare AI, with tech players already having consumer-focused offers. One example is Ping An’s Good Doctor, a leading online health management platform that already lists more than 420 million users.

How COVID-19 has become AI’s opportunity to shine:

Let’s look at the case of Bracco Imaging Group, a multinational leader in diagnostic imaging with a revenue of €1.3 billion that has implemented AI in radiological imaging to help predict clinical developments of COVID-19. In collaboration with the Italian Diagnostic Center, they have created the AIforCOVID project, an open-access platform that acts as a database for doctors and healthcare professionals to understand in advance the progression of the disease, hence making diagnosis and treatment faster and more personalized.

Figure: Example of the lung segmentation results.
Source: ScienceDirect

This open-access platform currently contains more than 800 chest X-ray images associated with critical clinical information acquired at the time of image acquisition. A preliminary analysis of all the data gathered from six Italian hospitals indicated that AI can provide faster and more efficient diagnosis, hence improved management of patients as well as hospital resources. 

This is just one excellent example of what can be achieved when technology and medicine collaborate, but it is worth mentioning that there are many more promising AI applications for tackling the challenges COVID-19 has presented to healthcare. Beyond diagnostics, researchers have employed AI in healthcare to tackle a wide range of challenges, including analysis of heterogeneous patient datasets, prediction of disease spread, and understanding COVID-19 epidemiology, as well as assisting in drug design and development through the effective screening of compounds and biomarkers and prediction of drugs’ physical and chemical properties.

Taking into account the powerful capabilities of AI when paired with innovation and the potential outcomes of a better collaboration between technology, healthcare professionals, and patients, the future seems bright and full of opportunities. Inspired by this, we looked for AI diagnostic application trends that could change the face of medicine. 

Artificial intelligence diagnostic trends to keep an eye on:

    1. Use of deep machine learning to predict threatening cardiac events, such as cardiac arrest prediction with the use of the Survival Study of Cardiac Arrhythmia Risk (SSCAR), a new form of AI that was recently developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.
    2. Early cancer diagnosis using AI, such as Mirai, an AI-based risk model designed by MIT researchers that can predict almost 50% of breast cancer incidences up to five years before onset.
    3. Philips jumping into Cardiac Monitoring & Diagnostics with the acquisition of Cardiologs late last year. This FDA cleared and CE marked technology based on machine learning algorithms claims a 91% detection rate for atrial fibrillation. The acquisition follows Philips’ $2.8 billion purchase of BioTelemetry and their wearable heart monitors. 

Emerging key players in the artificial intelligence diagnostics market:

  • Siemens Healthineers AG, with AI-powered solutions such as AI-Rad Companion and AI-Pathway Companion that aim to become the next-generation of clinical diagnostics and decision support systems.
  • Enlitic, No. 6 of the top 10 healthcare AI companies for 2022, according to AI magazine, is the first US imaging AI company to receive regulatory approval in Japan as of November 2021, for the CXR-AI, an AI-powered product designed in collaboration with Konica Minolta for chest X-ray analysis. 
  • Zebra Medical Vision Ltd, which was recently acquired by Nanox.AI for nearly $200 million, provides AI-powered solutions for imaging, including the American Medical Association (AMA)-approved CPT codes for detection of vertebral compression fractures and identification of  coronary artery calcium.


One thing is sure: the healthcare sector presents a tremendous space for AI to shine. With technology giants like Microsoft investing millions and forming the powerful Artificial Intelligence Industry Innovation Coalition with healthcare leaders such as the Cleveland Clinic, Duke Health, and Novant Health, it is safe to assume that AI-driven solutions will extend far beyond diagnostics. 

Intrigued to hear more about how AI can revolutionize medical diagnostics? PreScouter can help you discover innovative solutions for medical devices and software that can take personalized medicine to the next level.  Please contact Jeremy Schmerer, Healthcare & Life Sciences Lead, directly at or Linda Cohen, Strategic Accounts Manager at

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