Artificial Intelligence Technologies in Medicine: Case Studies from China and India

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE-AI, 19 Feb 2024

Tatiana Bokova | BRICS Info Portal - TRANSCEND Media Service

BRICS Info Portal

14 Feb 2024 – Due to its continuous advancement and extensive utilization, artificial intelligence (AI) technology has permeated deeply into all aspects of life, particularly within the realm of medicine, while the prospects for its application continue to broaden. AI has emerged as a powerful tool with the potential to revolutionize healthcare delivery worldwide. By leveraging AI technologies such as machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision, healthcare providers can enhance diagnostic accuracy, optimize treatment plans, streamline administrative processes, and improve patient outcomes. In countries like China and India, where healthcare systems face unique challenges such as large populations, limited resources, and disparities in access to care, AI offers promising solutions to address these issues and opens up new opportunities to improve the medical experience of patients, improve the relationship between doctor and patient, and reduce the burden on medical staff.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a central role in modern medicine, offering transformative capabilities that improve various aspects of healthcare delivery. Firstly, it aids in the accurate and efficient diagnosis of diseases. Machine learning algorithms can identify subtle patterns and anomalies that may not be immediately apparent to humans. For instance, machines can detect serious diseases earlier, leading to improved patient survival rates. Secondly, artificial intelligence enhances healthcare efficiency and resource utilization. It is possible to reduce the workload of healthcare workers by using AI, which allows them to devote more time and attention to patient care.

Additionally, AI-based programmes can optimize hospital operations, anticipate patient needs, and allocate resources more efficiently, leading to cost savings, shorter waiting times, and higher patient satisfaction. Furthermore, AI systems can quickly and accurately find and test appropriate medications by relying on big data from millions of patients. Computer modelling can be used to predict the activity, safety, and side effects of drugs, and to identify the most effective drug for treating a disease. This technology has the potential to shorten the drug development cycle, reduce the cost of new drugs, and increase the likelihood of success in drug development.

Each country has specific goals for implementing artificial intelligence in medicine, driven by unique healthcare challenges, technological capabilities, and socioeconomic factors. In China, the aim is to leverage AI in medicine to address the challenges posed by its rapidly aging population and growing healthcare demands. By integrating artificial intelligence technologies into healthcare systems, China aims to enhance diagnostic accuracy, optimize treatment outcomes, and improve access to healthcare services, particularly in underserved rural areas. Furthermore, China aims to establish itself as a global leader in AI-driven healthcare innovation, promoting economic growth and technological advancement.

On the other side, India aims to address challenges related to healthcare accessibility, affordability and quality through the use of AI in medicine. The country intends to use artificial intelligence technologies to expand access to healthcare services, especially in remote and rural areas where healthcare infrastructure is limited. Furthermore, India aims to enhance diagnostic capabilities, streamline healthcare delivery, and reduce healthcare costs through the adoption of AI-driven solutions.

China is at the forefront of healthcare innovation, utilizing robots and machine technology. Since 2016, China has issued a series of relevant policies, including the “Internet+” Three-Year Action and Implementation Plan for Artificial Intelligence, the “Guiding Opinions on Promoting and Regulating the Application and Development of Big Data in Health and Medical Care” and the plan “Healthy China. 2030”. These policies promote and guide the integration of artificial intelligence, such as natural language processing and machine learning, into various aspects of medicine and healthcare. According to Omdia research, Chinese startups raised $1.4 billion in funding in 2020 alone, compared to their US counterparts’ $2.4 billion, and the two countries accounted for 90 per cent of global investment in medical AI startups.

One notable case study is the utilization of AI in cancer diagnosis at Beijing’s National Cancer Center. Researchers developed a deep learning algorithm capable of analyzing medical imaging data to detect and classify various types of cancer with remarkable accuracy. According to a study published in the journal Nature Medicine, the AI system achieved a diagnostic accuracy rate of 89%, outperforming human radiologists who achieved a rate of 73% in the same task.

In the People’s Republic of China, more and more medical institutions are deploying intelligent diagnostic and treatment assistants, such as Alibaba Health’s “ET Medical Assistant” and Tencent Medical’s “Tencent Medical Dictionary”, to improve the efficiency and quality of medical care. Some hospitals have also released their own intelligent diagnosis and treatment assistant products at the same time. These intelligent tools have become indispensable for doctors and patients, greatly improving the quality and efficiency of medical services.

Zhao Jing, Director of Medical Artificial Intelligence Products, Tencent Healthcare, pointed out the following: “Medical artificial intelligence products are mainly based on medical artificial intelligence and natural language processing technologies developed by Tencent, and simulate the growth and learning process of a human doctor by studying medical literature, clinical guidelines, clinical recommendations. records and other data.”

Furthermore, AI-powered chatbots have been deployed in primary care settings across China to provide personalized health advice and support to patients. These chatbots leverage natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to understand patients’ symptoms, provide relevant medical information, and assist with appointment scheduling and medication management. According to a report by the China Association for Science and Technology, hospitals using AI chatbots experienced a 20% reduction in patient wait times and a 15% increase in patient satisfaction scores. This demonstrates the tangible benefits of AI-driven solutions in improving access to healthcare services and enhancing patient experience. Thus, as China continues to invest in AI-driven healthcare innovation, we can expect further advancements that will revolutionize healthcare delivery and improve population health outcomes.

India is experiencing significant growth in the application of artificial intelligence technology in healthcare, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. According to recent statistics, India’s artificial intelligence in healthcare market is expected to reach USD 1.6 billion by 2025, with a compound annual growth rate of 40.5% between 2020 and 2025. For example, with a fast-growing pharmaceutical industry, India can significantly benefit from AI-based drug research and development. Statistics show that AI can reduce drug development costs by up to 60% for pharmaceutical companies.

Last year, FactorDaily reported that mFine uses robots to communicate with patients and collect basic information about patients and symptoms before referring cases to doctors, saving time and allowing it to see more patients. Now, mFine is working to apply artificial intelligence to diagnosis, going a step further than previous doctor-patient interactions. In India, there are several medical startups that utilise artificial intelligence, including Qure.ai, specialised in medical imaging; Sigtuple, focused on pathology; CureSkin, offering dermatology solutions; Niramai, dedicated to breast cancer detection; and Tricog Health’s cloud-based ECG device. Additionally, major companies like Google and Microsoft have initiated pilot collaborations with hospital networks in India. Practo, a doctor appointment app, is attempting to automate doctor-patient interaction through the use of artificial intelligence.

On 12 April, the Yashoda Super Speciality Hospital in Ghaziabad, India, inaugurated a new robotic surgery and artificial intelligence department. P.N. Arora, managing director of Yashoda Super Speciality Hospital, mentioned: “We have always been in favour of finding new ways to provide advanced and affordable healthcare services and our aim is to introduce advanced medical technologies in our hospitals for the benefit of our patients with tangible benefits. Advanced technologies such as robotic surgery and artificial intelligence are revolutionising healthcare, helping us provide the best care and experience to our patients.”

Finally, the integration of artificial intelligence in healthcare represents a paradigm shift with immense potential to revolutionise medical practice and improve patient outcomes. China and India are leading this transformative path, using AI technologies to address healthcare challenges, improve diagnostics, optimise treatment plans, and expand access to quality healthcare services. With significant investments, government initiatives, and a dynamic ecosystem of researchers, startups, and healthcare providers, both countries are well-positioned for substantial growth and innovation in AI-driven healthcare applications. As artificial intelligence continues to evolve and integrate into healthcare systems, it has the potential to transform the delivery of healthcare, making it more personalised, efficient, and accessible.

However, to ensure the responsible and equitable use of AI in healthcare, it is necessary to address challenges such as data privacy, regulatory compliance, and ethical considerations. Collaboration between stakeholders, including governments, industry leaders, healthcare providers, and researchers, is essential to overcome these challenges and unlock the full potential of artificial intelligence in improving global public health. Looking ahead, continued advancements in AI technologies, coupled with innovative approaches to healthcare delivery and patient-centered care, will pave the way for a future where AI-driven healthcare solutions play a central role in enhancing human health and well-being.

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Tatiana Bokova is an intern of the Russian National Committee on BRICS Research.

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