According to GlobalData forecasts, the market for artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) platforms will reach $52B in 2024, up from $29B in 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic has triggered a rapid implementation of new technologies in the medical technology industry. Consequently, the MedTech industry’s biggest players, such as GE Healthcare, Medtronic, and Philips are some of the biggest investors in AI and ML. Implementing AI and ML into the traditionally conservative medical technology field has the potential to improve the current methods of diagnosing, managing, and treating numerous diseases and health issues. Furthermore, with big data becoming more and more assessable and manageable, it is now possible to effectively analyse, process, and find new patterns in medical data, especially when combined with ML algorithms.

Medtronic is focusing on integrating AI into its existing surgery sectors, including advanced image processing, robotics, and navigation, as well as increasing recruitment for remote patient monitoring. More than 10 of the company’s pipeline products in critical remote solutions and innovations are set to be released in 2021. One of the key products that Medtronic is planning to implement in surgery is a pre-procedure platform named UNiD ASI that is able to use predictive modelling algorithms to model digital spine reconstruction and perform measurements. UNiD ASI has been developed by Medicrea GROUP, a France-based medical equipment company that provides surgical solutions to neurosurgeons and orthopaedic surgeons.

Philips decided to focus on a different market trend, specifically AI diagnosis with improved precision and workflow informatics. In December 2020, Phillips signed a merger agreement to acquire BioTelemetry for $2.8B. Bio Telemetry specialises in cardiac diagnostics, wearable heart monitors, AI-based data analysis, and monitoring position outside of the hospital.

The AI and ML industries are growing at an unprecedented rate, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated this trend. Large companies have been heavily investing in and implementing technologies powered with AI and ML, which will undoubtedly improve and set new standards for the MedTech industry.