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48 per cent of healthcare, pharma cos set to integrate first-Gen AI solution within next year: EY Report

28 per cent surveyed have implemented their first GenAI solution, 60 per cent believe Gen AI will have a significant impact on the value chain and 84 per cent believe it can positively impact workforce productivity

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According to the EY report, 60 per cent of survey participants from the healthcare and life sciences sector believe Gen AI will have a significant impact on the entire value chain. The report, titled, ‘The AIdea of India: Generative AI’s potential to accelerate India’s digital transformation,’ highlights that while healthcare and life science sector has been traditionally conservative in adopting digital technologies, a gradual shift is underway.

While 28 per cent of healthcare and life sciences firms have already implemented their first GenAI solution, a significant majority i.e. 48 per cent plan to implement their first GenAI solution within 1 year.

The insights reveal that in healthcare, Gen AI holds the promise of benefiting every facet of the value chain, from clinical services to customer operations and branding. Similarly, in Life Sciences, the potential of Gen AI applications is poised to expedite the assimilation of cutting-edge technologies across the value chain.

While some organisations in India are already piloting GenAI in controlled environments, 80 per cent of the surveyed firms acknowledged that their organisations are not yet fully prepared to embrace this technology. Nevertheless, there is a keen interest in establishing the necessary infrastructure.

Commenting on the findings, Suresh Subramanian, Partner & National Life Sciences Leader, EY Parthenon India said, “While the Indian life sciences enterprises initially exercised caution regarding AI adoption, numerous Gen AI applications are now contributing to drug development and highly targeted therapies, which is likely to put India in the global clinical trial map. There is a likely fast followership by pharma and medical devices in Gen AI in customer acquisition, delivering personalised care, patient experience and outcomes, process optimisation across value chain, such as supply and demand planning and operational efficiency, to enhance overall productivity. Companies must focus on creating co-pilots in many of the above areas and bring in necessary skills into new ways of working.”

Adding to it, Kaivaan Movdawalla, Healthcare Leader, EY Parthenon India said, “In the healthcare sector in India, an air of cautious observation pervades most healthcare institutions. The adoption of AI in areas such as decision support, medical imaging and precision medicine is also a recent development. In an environment marked by significant demand supply disparities and a shortage of clinical and non-clinical talent (e.g., only 64 doctors per 100,000 patients compared to the global average of 150 per 100,000), Gen AI holds the potential to augment the healthcare system’s capabilities and accelerate transformation of diagnostics, treatments and patient care.”

While concerns revolve around potential job displacements, leaders were largely positive that Gen AI will not replace the core healthcare workforce but improve their efficiency and hence release more supply in the healthcare system. 84 per cent of healthcare and life Sciences firms surveyed, believe that GenAI can positively impact workforce productivity, whereas 60 per cent believe it could amplify existing workforce’s potential.

During the survey, healthcare leaders cautioned that the adoption and implementation of Gen AI would be challenging. The survey revealed apprehensions among industry leaders, such as dearth of adequate skills and understanding within the existing ecosystem, and reservations regarding result accuracy. Concerns pertaining to data privacy, cybersecurity and the potential for biased responses underscore the imperative to mitigate these issues before embarking on this transformative journey.

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