AI in healthcare: added value proven, potential not yet fully exploited

Our exploratory social cost-benefit analysis (SCBA) shows that artificial intelligence (AI) has added value in healthcare. The greatest benefits are improvement in patients’ quality of life, reduction in healthcare costs and efficient use of healthcare capacity. There are also positive effects for informal caregivers, as parts of their care can be taken over by AI applications.

However, the potential of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications in healthcare has not been fully exploited to date. For example, not all potential users are currently being reached. Also, there are still many new possibilities for deploying AI in the healthcare domain, which could increase the effects. These are some conclusions of the exploratory social cost-benefit analysis in healthcare, which we, together with PBLQ, made on behalf of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.

We made an analysis of three existing healthcare applications with an AI component. The first was MonitAir, which performs (medical) intelligent tasks independently via prediction of a lung attack. The second was Quantib, which directly makes the correct diagnosis via recognition from prostate MRI scans. The third is Tessa, a tiny care robot that independently provides verbal support to people with cognitive disabilities. Together they are a good reflection of the current and expected future possibilities of AI deployment in healthcare. An exploratory social cost-benefit analysis was conducted for each case study.

Action perspectives
We have formulated concrete action perspectives to reduce barriers to not yet fully utilizing AI applications. For example, it can help if developers involve their stakeholders at an early stage and identify possible effects on care processes in a timely manner. For funding, it is important to clearly demonstrate effectiveness. The Guide to Quality AI in Healthcare helps to better estimate the effectiveness of AI in advance. User data is needed for the further development of AI applications. This can be obtained by working better with users, properly regulating permission for data sharing in the process, and working on responsible data concepts.

Learn more.
This research was commissioned by the Valuable AI for Health program of the Information Policy Directorate of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS). The goal of this program is to help healthcare parties increase the perceived value (creation) through utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) for health.

For more information about our research, read the full research report (pdf) on the central government website. If you have any questions, please contact Walter Hulsker.

20 January 2022

2 minute read