High-tech med­i­cal in­dus­try pre­dicted to be worth 1 tril­lion yuan in 20 years

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By ZHENG YIRAN zhengyi­ran@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence tech­nol­ogy will trans­form the med­i­cal sec­tor and trig­ger an es­ti­mated 1 tril­lion yuan ($147 bil­lion) mar­ket dur­ing the next 20 years.

A re­port from Fire­stone In­vent­ing, a con­sul­tancy spe­cial­iz­ing in the med­i­cal in­dus­try and based in Hangzhou, showed that China is now one of the lead­ing AI re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­ters along with the United States.

Last year, there were 144 Chi­nese AI com­pa­nies in­volved in the med­i­cal sec­tor. The ma­jor­ity of them were based in Bei­jing, Guang­dong and the Yangtze River Delta.

“The era of AI is in­evitable and has al­ready been broadly ap­plied to the health­care area,” said Dai Tao, deputy di­rec­tor of the De­vel­op­ment Cen­ter for Med­i­cal Science and Tech­nol­ogy at the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion in Bei­jing.

“For ex­am­ple, when AI is ap­plied to the field of ra­dio­di­ag­no­sis, it only takes five sec­onds for a com­puter to­mog­ra­phy (CT),” he added. “Be­fore, it would take up to half an hour.”

Dai stressed that what is hap­pen­ing in the AI sec­tor is just a glimpse of the fu­ture.

Dur­ing the next two decades, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence will rad­i­cally change the health­care in­dus­try and save lives.

“The gov­ern­ment should strongly sup­port the de­vel­op­ment of smart med­i­cal treat- ment, and pro­mote the in­no­va­tion of med­i­cal tech­niques,” he said.

AI will also have a cru­cial role in the field of big data, a vi­tal pil­lar of the in­for­ma­tion in­dus­try.

Med­i­cal big data is used to crunch vast amounts of com- plex sta­tis­tics to show pat­terns and trends which are vi­tal in health­care.

Al­ready doc­tors are us­ing ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence sys­tems to help them when deal­ing with pa­tients.

“AI now is widely used in med­i­cal care,” said Zhang Jiang, pres­i­dent of Ping An Ven­tures, a ma­jor in­vest­ment com­pany in Shang­hai. “It helps doc­tors in di­ag­nos­ing prob­lems with pa­tients.”

“This not only low­ers the ser­vice costs, but also im­proves the ac­cu­racy of the di­ag­no­sis,” Zhang added.

The gov­ern­ment has been

AI now is widely used in med­i­cal care. It helps doc­tors in di­ag­nos­ing prob­lems with pa­tients.”

Zhang Jiang, pres­i­dent of Ping An Ven­tures

ZHANG TAO / FOR CHINA DAILY

A doc­tor demon­strates how a ro­bot con­ducts an or­tho­pe­dic op­er­a­tion in Zhengzhou, He­nan prov­ince.

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