Asia Pacific Healthcare Artificial Intelligence (AI) Market size crossed USD 274 million in 2020 and is set to observe around 48% growth rate between 2021 and 2027.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the division of computer science that incorporates the programming in machines and applies it in different activities including learning, digitization, problem solving, automation, etc. Artificial intelligence technology is enhancing ongoing developments in the medical field, modern business, and everyday life practices in healthcare. Artificial intelligence in healthcare can support healthcare providers in multiple phases of patient care and organizational management processes. AI has extensive applications in early diagnosis, lessen therapeutic errors, increase patient safety, and decision support, among others.
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Significant advancement in healthcare technology in the Asia Pacific region to address identified gaps in healthcare services. For instance, in Japan, emerging startups are engaged in designing unique AI solutions for elder care. These involve communication tools for dementia patients and predictive analytics to understand patient habits more efficiently. Furthermore, in January 2021, India’s health tech startup MFine raised USD 16 million through a funding led by Heritas Capital. The startup aims to build up a leading position in providing AI-driven healthcare services.
Rapid growth in the development of AI technology to increase the quality-of-care delivery is set to dramatically impact the healthcare artificial intelligence market revenue. For instance, the government of Japan has funded a large national initiative to improve data-driven AI and IoT technologies to improve the performance and quality of healthcare delivery. Furthermore, in 2020, the Australian government announced over USD 15 million investment for AI based health research projects intended to prevent, diagnose, and deal with a variety of health conditions.
According to the MIT Technology Review, the geriatric population is speedily turning into one of Asia’s leading healthcare crises. As per estimations, by 2030 over 25% of the population of South Korea, Thailand, and China will be over 60 years old. Thus, the private and public sectors emphasized on innovation integrated with leading technologies comprised of AI, machine learning, and big data to tackle the challenges in healthcare settings.
There is a growing need for big data and artificial intelligence, to curtail the rising healthcare spending. According to the news article published in 2020, researchers in Japan used AI to analyse big health data, allowing the development of technology that supports around 20 disease prevention. As mentioned by the Healthcare Asia, Japan planned to invest over USD 100 million by 2022 to solve the issue of medical workforce and growth in medical expenses. Under the strategy, the aim is to deliver diagnosis support and innovative new drugs by using big data. For instance, as stated by the Australian government, Australia can provide a unified dataset for developers to create digital health solutions.
The medical imaging & diagnosis segment revenue was around USD 68 million in 2020 on account of the growing investment in AI healthcare start-ups, surging adoption of AI in disease diagnosis, and the potential to transform various aspects of patient care. For instance, in 2019, Tokyo-based AI Medical Service, the Japanese startup developed the AI-powered technology to diagnose cancerous lesions using endoscopic footage. As per the Japan Times, AI developed by the National Cancer Center and Riken took only 0.004 seconds to diagnose early-stage cancer. This technology can diagnose cancer correctly in 80% of cancer images.
Furthermore, PFDeNA Inc., Japan startup is applying deep learning to diagnose early-stage cancer in blood samples. The Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (ASMIRT) is emphasizing the use of AI in medical imaging practice. The aim is to bring improvement of image interpretation and production of high-quality images. Thus, AI has become more specific in disease diagnosis and has turned into a more profitable source of diagnostic data.
China healthcare AI market revenue in 2020 surpassed USD 70 million due to the developing AI technology and its ability to infuse strength into traditional industries. China is one of the tier-one countries with the most AI hubs and experiencing national digitalization across the healthcare sector. Healthcare AI in China covers different areas that include drug development, health management, and online consultations among others. For instance, in 2018, China's healthcare AI funding activities were at the peak with over USD 1 billion total investment in 66 deals. As of 2020, about 129 firms are operating in China healthcare AI. Among them, 55 companies are in medical imaging, holding around 43.0% of the total healthcare AI industry players.
As reported by the International Institute of Communications, AI investment from China’s tech giants including Tencent (BAT), Alibaba, and Baidu has inclined towards the advancement of applicability in the healthcare sector. Furthermore, China has comprehensive overarching national policies precisely planned to drive AI readiness and to control its deployment. Additionally, in January 2020, the Beijing Kunlun Medical Cloud Technology Co., Ltd received the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) approval for DeepVessel FFR. It is a non-invasive computer tomography FFR technique developed using AI.
Prominent players operating in the Asia Pacific market include AiCure, APIXIO, Inc, Johnson & Johnson, Sophia Genetics, OmeCare Inc, Modernizing Medicine, among others.
These industry players are undertaking several inorganic strategies such as collaborations, mergers and acquisitions to maintain their market position. For instance, in November 2020, NVIDIA Corporation announced a partnership with Nuance and GE Healthcare to spur medical imaging AI startups. This strategic move assisted the company in expanding its customer base and strengthening its product portfolio.