Healthcare Trend Watch — Artificial Intelligence (AI) Dramatically Changing Healthcare

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

This post is taken from an article by Robin L. Rose, MBA VP, Healthcare Resource Group, HealthStream, where she looks ahead at the coming year, with an eye to big picture trends that could have a significant impact on how we provide and experience care.

AI Is Dramatically Changing Healthcare

There is a wave of artificial intelligence (AI) applications set to crash onto our healthcare shores. According to venture capital firm Rock Health, 121 health AI and machine learning companies raised $2.7 billion in 206 deals between 2011 and 2017 (Kalis, Collier & Fu, 2018). A recent study by Accenture concluded that the 10 most promising AI applications for healthcare could create up to $150 billion in annual savings for U.S. healthcare by 2026. According to Accenture, “Growth is perhaps no surprise as AI delivers what many healthcare organizations today need, especially as companies weather the financial and operational turbulence of rising labor costs, digital expectations from consumers, and increasing demand for interoperability, among other challenges” (Accenture, 2018). Following are the Top 10 AI applications Accenture forecasts for the healthcare industry:

Many other consultants corroborate Accenture’s enthusiasm. Kevin Troyanos, a data scientist at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness asserts, “AI has the potential to improve healthcare outcomes by 30 to 40 percent while simultaneously cutting the costs of treatment in half” (Troyanos, 2018). Troyanos goes on to say, “Artificial intelligence clearly has the potential to drive meaningful change at numerous points along the care continuum… the most effective deployments of AI in the healthcare space [will be] that they augment human capabilities, not replace them… As long as we’re careful to only buy into real results—not hype—we’re well positioned to inspire a much-needed paradigm shift in the healthcare industry at large.”

Additional Healthcare Trends to Watch

Other trends identified in this article include:

  • Amazon is becoming a major disrupter in many areas of healthcare
  • Healthcare costs are becoming scarier than the illness itself.
  • We need to prepare for new health risks from weather and other disasters.
  • We are finally addressing population health.
  • CMS is changing course.
  • We need more joy in the work of healthcare.
  • The nursing shortage is getting worse.
  • Physicians are in short supply too.
  • Digital healthcare organizations are emerging.


Accenture, “Artificial Intelligence: Healthcare’s New Nervous System,” accessed October 18, 2018,

Kalis, Brian; Collier, Matt; and Fu, Richard; “10 Promising AI Applications in Health Care,” Harvard Business Review, May 10, 2018,

Troyanos, Kevin, “3 ways artificial intelligence is changing the healthcare industry,” CIO, August 20, 2018,

Download the complete article here.