Girish Raghavan, Vice President, Engineering, GE HealthCare

Technology has enriched our lives in innumerable ways and the same is true in the case of the healthcare sector. The emergence of internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotics powered by 5G networks are perpetually reshaping the industry and enabling life-altering innovations. From precision care to drug discovery, eICUs to robotic surgery, and wearables to digital twins we are making radical changes in healthcare delivery every day.

The tech-led solutions have enabled clinicians to make smarter and more informed decisions, through data-driven personalised diagnosis and treatment. With offerings like cloud-based unified platforms constantly improving clinical processes and workflows, healthcare providers can now scale their practice beyond any geographical barriers. Data stored on the cloud also provides intelligent insights using AI tools which are driving a tectonic shift in early diagnosis and treatment. With the commercial availability of 5G networks, care can be made accessible in the most remote regions of the country. The faster network will enable higher bandwidth and faster decision making for the clinicians and technicians. However, to actualise the long-term goals of maximising the potential of the healthcare system, it is imperative to prioritise the key areas such as supportive infrastructure, upskilling talent, robust data aggregation platforms, adoption of analysis tools, including AI, and collaboration between various stakeholders.

However, problems such as data privacy and cybersecurity worries associated with digital systems require wise planning and management to enable sustainable growth and patient safety in the sector. While cybersecurity gets a lot of attention in the traditional software world, it doesn’t get as much attention as it should in the AI space. Increasingly, hackers are starting to think about what it takes to reverse engineer the AI model by figuring side-channel attacks. Effective policies and standardisation in the ecosystem and just raising awareness around the topic will help us actualise the true potential of digital solutions in healthcare.

In the coming years, technologies like metaverse, which is already spurring a transformation in the healthcare sector, will dramatically improve outcomes and make care more accessible at a lower cost. We generally believe that AI/ML and IoT has the potential to take a lot of the mundane but important tasks away from the clinician, so that frees them back to deliver actual care.