AI in healthcare: 5 big updates in the past 60 days

Artificial intelligence is making its way into the healthcare space, with big tech partnerships and investments leading the way.

Here are five AI updates from around the healthcare industry.

1. Microsoft launched its $40 million AI for Health initiative on Jan. 29, a five-year program that will focus on accelerating medical research for disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The program also aims to increase global health insights in specific areas including mortality and build health equity for underserved populations.

2. Health Catalyst joined Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society, an initiative founded by Amazon, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants. Health Catalyst was the first healthcare-focused company to join the group, which aims to develop best practices for responsible AI use.

3. In 2019, investors poured $4 billion into 367 AI startups in healthcare. Babylon Health was a standout, reaching unicorn status after raising $550 million in August. Last year there were 17 healthcare AI merger and acquisition deals and two initial public offerings.

4. AI was front and center in the news about the coronavirus outbreak, as an AI-powered platform detected and sent warning signs of the outbreak nine days before the World Health Organization sent out its notice. The BlueDot platform notified clients of the outbreak on Dec. 31, while China sent an alert on Jan. 6 and WHO published its notice on Jan. 9.

5. A Definitely Healthcare report found about one-third of hospital respondents reported using AI for imaging or business operations in 2019. The survey included 200 hospitals and imaging centers.

More articles on artificial intelligence in healthcare:
Bon Secours Mercy Health invests in behavior change AI platform
Top 10 AI applications for healthcare in 2020: Accenture report
Is AI good or bad for medicine? 4 key opinions

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