Apollo Hospitals taps Microsoft’s AI to slash healthcare costs

Apollo Hospitals taps Microsoft’s AI to slash healthcare costs
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle
11 Apr, 2018

Apollo Hospitals Group on Wednesday said it was working with Microsoft to slash healthcare costs, by suffusing its products and services with artificial intelligence (AI).

"Imagine if we could bring down the number of women affected with breast cancer by using AI and machine learning," said Apollo Hospitals Group executive director Sangita Reddy.

Reddy said the decrease in healthcare cost shouldn't be looked at from a unit-cost perspective but from a preventive cost angle. 

“With data being generated at an exponential pace, technology can study that data to predict and suggest preventive steps with utmost accuracy,” she said.

Reddy added the group was working to bring down time in treating patients and offering more care. For example, by infusing AI into the treatment system, multiple doctors can look at the patient and serve him/her better. She also said that her group was using devices such as tablets to keep the doctor abreast of the patient’s conditions at all times. 

The cost-reduction drive by Chennai-based Apollo comes on the heels of a tie-up with Microsoft to help doctors in the early detection of heart-related diseases using artificial intelligence.

Microsoft report
A report commissioned by Microsoft and carried out by market research firm International Data Corporation was released on Wednesday. It forecasts a dramatic acceleration in the pace of digital transformation across India and Asia-Pacific.

“The pace of digital transformation is accelerating, and IDC expects that by 2021, at least 60% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) will derive from digital products and services, with growth in every industry driven by digitally enhanced offerings, operations and relationships,” said Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, research director for IDC’s Asia-Pacific region. 

In 2017, about four per cent of India’s GDP was coming from digital products and services created directly through the use of technologies, such as mobility, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), and AI.

The study also shows that early adopters of digital products and services will see two times more benefits than late adopters, along with improvements in productivity, cost reductions, and customer advocacy. 

Across these areas, organisations are seeing significant improvements from digital transformation in the range of 11% to 14%, according to the research findings. Business leaders expect to see more than 40% improvements in those key areas by 2020, with the biggest jump expected in productivity, customer advocacy as well as profit margin, the findings showed.
The report also said that 90% of organisations in India are in the midst of digital transformation and only 7% are early adopters. 

"These are organisations that have full or progressing digital transformation strategies, with at least a third of their revenue coming from digital products and services. In addition, these companies are seeing between 20% and 30% improvements in benefits across various business areas from their initiatives," the report said.

 The survey was conducted among 1,560 business decision-makers in mid-sized and large-sized organisations across 15 economies.

Microsoft has also been working on injecting artificial intelligence into agriculture, education and others, said Anil Bhansali, India managing director of research and development.