China’s deployment of artificial intelligence technologies in the healthcare industry will continue to boom this year, better serving grassroots medical institutions in particular, according to industry experts. The country’s medical AI industry scale is expected to reach around 20 billion yuan ($2.93 billion; 2.5 billion euros; £2.3 billion) in 2018, surging by 53.8 percent year-on-year, according to industry information provider qianzhan.com.

Xie Guotong, chief healthcare scientist at industry leader Ping An Technology, says: “AI is expanding at an exponential rate. The whole AI value chain, from the basic level to the technical and application levels, is full of opportunities.

When you combine AI with the nation’s trillion-dollar healthcare sector, especially healthcare at the primary (smaller, local-scale) level, there are infinite possibilities.” The National Health Commission’s 2017 national healthcare report, issued in June, estimated that last year, the nation’s healthcare budget surpassed 5 trillion yuan, accounting for 6.2 percent of GDP.

Per capita medical expenses hit 3,712 yuan. “The figures will continue to rise, leaving heavy burdens for both the public and the government,” Xie says.

Another problem is the shortage of medical resources, according to Xie. “With the advent of the aging population problem and chronic diseases, the number of people going to the hospital is rising. Read more from womenofchina.cn…

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