Healthy returns predicted from AI use in health – Computerworld New Zealand

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The New Zealand AI Forum has released a report into the use of AI by the health sector, saying it could contribute more than $700 million of value and savings annually by 2026, and $1.6 billion to $3.6 billion by 2035.   

The report says the health sector is facing increasing demand, rising consumer expectations and the pressures of an ageing population; pressures that are straining the workforce, increasing costs and limiting access to care.

“The … report describes how AI promises to bring significant clinical, workforce and cost benefits to the health sector, as well as personalise medical care,” the AI Forum says.

“It can help with predicting disease and injury; and mine vast quantities of literature for research insights. It can also assist in novel drug discovery; augment the work of human specialists through image analysis and robotic surgery; automate hospital processes; free up more time for doctor-patient interaction and provide personalised treatment.”

AI Forum executive director Ben Reid said the sector was already investing in data infrastructure in advance of AI, but there were a number of barriers to be overcome to enable widespread adoption of AI in New Zealand healthcare, including a low level of digital literacy among the healthcare workforce and inflexibility of legacy technological systems.

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