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AI, service-based business models and the cloud will be key health care trends in 2018

Lisa Chamoff, Contributing Reporter | December 18, 2017
Artificial Intelligence Health IT
Findings from Frost & Sullivan webinar
There’s no denying that artificial intelligence (AI) is going to be a key part of the health care landscape next year, but other emerging trends, including the shift to a product-as-a-service business model and the cloud as a core storage platform, were highlighted as part of Frost & Sullivan’s 2018 industry predictions.

The consulting firm included these and other predictions in a webinar this week. During the presentation, both an executive and an analyst from Frost & Sullivan were joined by leaders at GE Healthcare, Microsoft and Intel to discuss the health care landscape going into 2018.

Addressing the emergence of AI, Keith Bigelow, the general manager for analytics at GE Healthcare, said that at RSNA 2016, vendors were excited about the prospect of AI, but were not communicating the value of how it would augment the work of radiologists and improve care. That changed at this year’s annual meeting.

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“This year, what we were showing is a more humble and mature perspective on artificial intelligence,” Bigelow said. “Honestly, at least for GE, I think our vision has matured a bit, where we see artificial intelligence more as an invisible capability, more like water that starts to flow into the existing workflow applications inside the hospital, as well as flowing seamlessly right into the modalities, the equipment itself.”

When asked to vote on the one key technology they believe will have the most profound impact on health care industry during 2018, the majority of respondents &mdash 40 percent — voted for AI.

Among the eight top predictions, Frost & Sullivan analyst Kamaljit Behera noted that over the next year and beyond, a service and not a product business model will become the norm for drug and device companies, opening new revenue streams and contributing 2 to 3 percent revenue for leading companies by 2020.

Bigelow noted that GE has historically had a capital expenditure (capex) business model, but has seen a desire among its customers to move to an operational expenditure (opex) model, and to have more predictability with regard to costs.

“When we see really thought-leading providers who are engaging us in this type of conversation, one of the things that they very much want to mitigate is unexpected charges or adverse effects that they couldn’t necessarily predict in a historical model, a capex for example,” Bigelow said.

The second top prediction is that the cloud will emerge as a core platform as storage flexibility needs expand across all stakeholders. Frost & Sullivan predicts that the total health care cloud computing market for providers will cross the $5 billion mark in global revenue by 2018, growing 24 percent from 2017 to 2022.

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