2022 – Year ahead: technology prescribing for healthcare is key

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Four technologies – ubiquitous computing, cloud-to-edge infrastructure, ubiquitous connectivity and artificial intelligence – will bring new solutions to our greatest challenges

By Nivruti Rai

A wave of innovations in different sectors marked 2021 and it was driven by an unprecedented digitalization, far-reaching and accelerated by the pandemic. For obvious reasons, healthcare has undergone a significant transformation through the creation and adoption of technology. Most notable is the development and distribution of coronavirus vaccines, but innovation in telehealth and remote diagnosis has also changed the way we think about treatment.

India has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and the way is set for its economic recovery. However, we can expect to see challenges along the way. In this context, rapid technological innovation will be absolutely essential for the economy to continue its momentum. In 2022, four tech superpowers – ubiquitous computing, cloud-to-edge infrastructure, ubiquitous connectivity, and artificial intelligence (AI) – will bring new solutions to our greatest challenges. Semiconductors will continue to fuel this technology-driven transformation.

Here’s what impact we can expect such innovations to have over the next year.

Cloud-to-edge AI and transparent data democratize healthcare
AI is making healthcare more connected, affordable and personalized. New advancements allow clinicians to collect more comprehensive data and increase efficiency and collaboration, while reducing costs. This is happening right now with the Omicron variant outbreak, as the genome sequencing of those affected is shared on publicly accessible databases.

India has one of the largest diabetic populations in the world, which is expected to reach 98 million cases by 2030. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the leading causes of vision loss in adults. With AI, we can advance the diagnosis of DR with the level of precision of humans and also enable rapid treatment. A cloud-based AI solution uses deep learning models to identify retinal conditions and quickly detect DR. It helps doctors provide instant advice to patients.

In 2022, we can expect AI to accelerate to assess huge volumes of healthcare data at a lower cost. It covers everything from more precise cancer diagnoses to predictive analytics. India’s NASSCOM Covid-19 Task Force has used AI to provide a platform for a population-wide pandemic response to the state governments of Telangana and Karnataka, analyzing massive datasets for guide Covid-19 indicators to predict epidemics and manage care more effectively.

AI-driven vehicles improve road safety and reduce air pollution
Technologies like AI will play a transformational role in enabling smarter and safer vehicles, roads and drivers. Sadly, India records around 17 road traffic fatalities every hour. Innovative solutions based on Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) and Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) can reduce such fatalities and enable road safety in India.

In addition, smart, cloud-to-edge connected, 5G-enabled automobiles have the potential to dramatically improve air quality in India. Then, AI-based vehicles providing real-time data on traffic, road conditions and parking spots could also reduce fuel consumption, reduce daily commute times, and make parking more efficient. These combined benefits would be an important step in reducing vehicle emissions and reducing air pollution in Indian cities.

Neuromorphic computing mimics human cognition
In 2022, we will likely see the development of the next generation of AI: neuromorphic computing. By using knowledge from neuroscience to mimic human cognition in machines, when successfully applied, neuromorphic computing has the potential to create programs that can simulate and even exceed the capabilities of humans.

The National University of Singapore has developed an artificial skin that allows robots to detect touch 1,000 times faster than a human. The system is so advanced that it can identify the shape, texture and hardness of objects 10 times faster than the blink of an eye (i.e. 30 to 40 milliseconds). The researchers believe that this work could ultimately improve human-robot interaction, making use cases such as nursing robots and automated robotic surgery more feasible.
According to WHO data, in 2019 there were 9.28 doctors per 10,000 people in India, compared to 26.04 in the United States. Health applications of neuromorphic computing would therefore be a lifeline for India’s understaffed healthcare system.

Technological innovations enrich lives and livelihoods
Technology in itself is lifeless unless it benefits the life and livelihoods of mankind. And technology has never been more important to humanity than it is today. The challenges we face are truly existential and we cannot afford to slow the pace of innovation. Over the coming year, powered by AI, cloud-to-edge infrastructure, ubiquitous connectivity and ubiquitous computing, we can apply truly revolutionary technology to fuel the post-pandemic recovery of the world. India, increase efficiency, reduce pollution and enrich people’s lives. .

The author is Country Manager, Intel India & VP, Intel Foundry Services

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