Artificial intelligence (AI) seems poised to transform healthcare all over the world, especially in China. Developing the systems that power artificial intelligence requires correlating thousands of variables spanning patient medical data and then developing software that can identify related trends among these variables and predict medical outcomes. In China, this poses a challenge: there’s a shortage of easily accessible healthcare data, because online and electronic health record systems are scarce.
Some Chinese entrepreneurs seen opportunity within the market. Jun Wang, founder of the biotech company iCarbonX, is developing an AI-influenced consumer app that will provide customised health and medical advice based on a customer’s DNA, health habits and environment. Wang has established an alliance with healthcare data companies from around the world to provide expertise in mining medical and biological data. By integrating their different platforms, iCarbonX envisions being able to aggregate and analyse patient healthcare information quickly and cheaply.
The voice-tech company iFlytek, will be further developing their technology to comprehend and think about speech in addition to its current capabilities of listening and speaking — features that could be incorporated into mHealth applications or used by healthcare providers who cannot directly communicate with their patients.
Another technology platform, Ningbo Cloud Hospital, is using cloud computing to create a virtual hospital for the Chinese port city of Ningbo. Its services include collecting and analysing data for hospitals, pharmacies and insurance companies, and providing health education and diagnostic services for remote clients.
Ultimately, though, these companies will be competing for global AI market share with large established companies such as Google and Apple. Legal experts note that regulatory bodies will need to evaluate AI technologies to ensure the systems are secure and accurate, and work out the liability issues that may arise when AI systems cause problems or make mistakes.
Read more about China’s use of artificial intelligence here.