Artificial intelligence (AI) is ubiquitous, and it was only a matter of time before this technology was adopted by the medical device industry. The Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the catalysts for this adoption, as many businesses and hospitals felt its impact and it became necessary to adopt a new strategy to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Two companies that have recently invested in AI and machine learning (ML) are Medtronic and Philips. Medtronic acquired Medicrea, a spinal surgery company that has an AI database containing over 6,000 surgical cases. This was an enormous boost to Medtronic’s portfolio as it emphasises AI-driven surgical planning, spinal implants and robotic-assisted surgery. In December, Philips agreed to acquire BioTelemetry, a medical technology company that specialises in cardiac monitoring services. BioTelemetry’s products include wearable heart monitors and AI-based data analytics. This deal will allow Philips to tap into the market growth by expanding its remote monitoring business beyond hospitals and into patients’ homes.

While AI may come across as overhyped, the potential use cases for this technology are boundless. Major medical device companies are investing millions of dollars in the technology and will continue to reap the rewards. The global market value for the technology is projected to grow to $52bn in 2024.