In 2021, innovation was driven by the unprecedented scale of digitalization across every aspect of life, accelerated by the pandemic. The healthcare ecosystem in particular saw tremendous impact through technology creation and adoption, from the development and rollout of coronavirus vaccines to applications for tracking and administering them, proliferation of teleconsultations, remote diagnostics, and treatment. These developments illustrate how in just one year, driven by critical human need, ingenuity and powerful computing, innovation can fundamentally change what’s possible.
With one of the highest rates of vaccination in the world, India is now on the path to economic recovery. There are still challenges ahead, and tech innovation that makes the world safer, builds healthy and vibrant communities, and increases productivity, will be key to the continued rebound.
The environment for this kind of innovation has never been better. Fifty years on from the launch of the first microprocessor, the 4004, a quartet of technology superpowers – Ubiquitous Compute, Cloud-to-Edge Infrastructure, Pervasive Connectivity and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – are set to drive new technology use cases and solutions.
Lower-cost, more predictive public health via AI and seamless cloud-to-edge data
In healthcare, technologies like AI can help clinicians gather more comprehensive data, increase efficiency and collaboration while reducing costs— all aimed at improving patient care.
AI in medical imaging is democratizing healthcare, especially in screening for ailments like diabetic retinopathy (DR). For example, a cloud-based AI solution using deep learning models is helping detect diabetic retinopathy in a short span of time. This helps doctors provide instant counsel on whether the patient needs to be referred to a hospital.
In the coming year, we can expect to see faster growth in the use of AI to assess massive amounts of health data at lower cost. This touches everything from more accurate cancer diagnostics to predictive analytics.
Safer streets, cleaner air through AI-driven transportation systems
Many companies in India are using their reach, scale, and resources to deliver on bold goals, working with customers and partners for even greater impact. For example, an ecosystem consortium has recently embarked on a seminal project, called iRASTE (intelligent Solutions for Road Safety through Technology and Engineering). Leveraging the power of AI, it aims to achieve up to 50% decline in road accidents in Nagpur city over the next two years and create a blueprint to Vision Zero for the country.
In India, intelligent, cloud-to-edge-connected, 5G-enabled automobiles would bring numerous benefits. For example, greater standardization of driving conditions would increase road safety. The pervasive connectivity of AI-based vehicles enables real-time traffic data and information on road conditions and parking space availability. This could reduce fuel consumption, make parking more efficient, and cut daily commute times, thereby reducing vehicular emissions.
Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) and ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) technologies also align with the government’s Smart Cities Mission, providing key infrastructure for the creation of a more tech-enabled nation.
Computing becomes more human
2022 will also see further development of neuromorphic computing, which applies insights from neuroscience to create programmes that can mimic − and exceed − the capabilities of humans, vastly expanding our potential.
The healthcare applications of neuromorphic computing could be a lifeline for India’s understaffed healthcare system. According to WHO, in 2019 there were 9.28 doctors per 10,000 people in India, compared to 26.04 in the USA.
The pace of innovation continues to accelerate
Since the first microprocessor launched 50 years ago, Moore’s Law has been used to predict the pace of innovation, but we’re at a point now where we can innovate faster and in more interesting directions than ever before.
Tech has never been more important to humanity. The 21st century challenges we need technology to solve are truly existential. The pace of innovation will continue to accelerate in 2022, powered by AI, cloud-to-edge infrastructure, pervasive connectivity, and ubiquitous compute. New use cases built on these pillars will create world-changing technology to help fuel India’s post-pandemic recovery, enrich the lives and experiences of its citizens, and move the country closer to its aim of becoming a $1 trillion digital economy by 2025.
Nivruti Rai is the Country Head, Intel India and Vice President of Intel Foundry Services.