AI in Healthcare: Uses, Examples and Benefits

From faster diagnoses to robot-assisted surgeries, the adoption of AI in healthcare is advancing medical treatment and patient experiences.

Written by Sam Daley
AI in Healthcare: Uses, Examples and Benefits
Image: Shutterstock
Sara B.T. Thiel | Jul 12, 2024

Artificial intelligence simplifies the lives of patients, doctors and hospital administrators by performing tasks that are typically done by humans, but in less time and at a fraction of the cost.

AI in healthcare shows up in a number of ways, such as finding new links between genetic codes, powering surgery-assisting robots, automating administrative tasks, personalizing treatment options and much more.

AI in Healthcare Applications

  • Improving medical diagnosis
  • Speeding up drug discovery
  • Transforming patient experience
  • Managing healthcare data
  • Performing robotic surgery

Put simply, AI is reinventing — and reinvigorating — modern healthcare through machines that can predict, comprehend, learn and act.


What Is AI in Healthcare?

AI in healthcare refers to the use of machine learning, natural language processing, deep learning and other AI technologies to enhance the experiences of both healthcare professionals and patients. The data-processing and predictive capabilities of AI enable health professionals to better manage their resources and take a more proactive approach to various aspects of healthcare. 

With these technologies, doctors can then make quicker and more accurate diagnoses, health administrators can locate electronic health records faster and patients can receive more timely and personalized treatments.


Examples of AI in Healthcare

To give you a better understanding of the rapidly evolving field, we rounded up some examples and use cases of AI in healthcare.

AI in Medical Diagnosis

Every year, roughly 400,000 hospitalized patients suffer preventable harm, with 100,000 deaths. In light of that, the promise of improving the diagnostic process is one of AI’s most exciting healthcare applications. Incomplete medical histories and large caseloads can lead to deadly human errors. Immune to those variables, AI can predict and diagnose disease at a faster rate than most medical professionals.


AI in Drug Discovery

The drug development industry is bogged down by skyrocketing development costs and research that takes thousands of human hours. Putting each drug through clinical trials costs an estimated average of $1.3 billion, and only 10 percent of those drugs are successfully brought to market. Due to breakthroughs in technology, AI is speeding up this process by helping design drugs, predicting any side effects and identifying ideal candidates for clinical trials. 


AI in Patient Experience

AI can be used to support digital communications, offering schedule reminders, tailored health tips and suggested next steps to patients. The ability of AI to aid in health diagnoses also improves the speed and accuracy of patient visits, leading to faster and more personalized care. And efficiently providing a seamless patient experience allows hospitals, clinics and physicians to treat more patients on a daily basis. 


AI in Healthcare Data Management

Highly valuable information can sometimes get lost among the forest of trillions of data points. Additionally, the inability to connect important data points slows the development of new drugs, preventative medicine and proper diagnosis. Because of its ability to handle massive volumes of data, AI breaks down data silos and connects in minutes information that used to take years to process. This can reduce the time and costs of healthcare administrative processes, contributing to more efficient daily operations and patient experiences. 


AI in Robotic Surgery

Hospitals use AI and robots to help with everything from minimally invasive procedures to open heart surgery. Surgeons can control a robot’s mechanical arms while seated at a computer console as the robot gives the doctor a three-dimensional, magnified view of the surgical site. The surgeon then leads other team members who work closely with the robot through the entire operation. Robot-assisted surgeries have led to fewer surgery-related complications, less pain and a quicker recovery time. 


65 Companies Using AI in Healthcare

These are some of the companies paving the way for healthcare innovation by applying AI technology.


Location: New York, New York

EliseAI specializes in conversational AI solutions. In the healthcare space, EliseAI offers AI-powered technology that can automate administrative tasks like appointment scheduling and sending payment reminders. Its AI capabilities engage patients across SMS, voice, email and web chat formats.


Location: San Mateo, California

Evidation’s mobile app supports users’ health through rewards and education content. It also gives them the option of participating in health research for life sciences companies, government agencies and academic institutions. The company uses AI to support its research partners, developing solutions for applications like notifying users who report flu systems and are in the right geographic location about how to join a clinical trial for a flu treatment.


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Cohere Health uses AI and machine learning to revolutionize prior authorization processes to ensure patients can access care swiftly. Through its Cohere Unify Platform, health plans can proactively create data-driven care paths, leading to pre-approval for services. By integrating real-time analytics, clinical intelligence and responsible AI, Cohere aligns patients, healthcare providers and health plans. It aims to facilitate stress-free experiences to deliver efficient, quality, cost-effective care.

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Location: New York, New York

Flatiron Health is a cloud-based SaaS company specializing in cancer care, offering oncology software that connects cancer centers nationwide to improve treatments and accelerate research. Using advanced technology, including artificial intelligence, it advances oncology by connecting community oncologists, academics, hospitals and life science researchers, providing integrated patient population data and business intelligence analytics. By leveraging billions of data points from cancer patients, Flatiron Health enables stakeholders to gain new insights and enhance patient care.


Location: Evanston, Illinois

Global consulting firm ZS specializes in providing strategic support to businesses across various sectors, with a particular focus on healthcare, leveraging its expertise in AI, sales, marketing, analytics and digital transformation. ZS helps clients navigate complex challenges within industries such as medical technology, life sciences, health plans and pharmaceuticals, using advanced AI and analytics tools.


Location: New York, New York

Healthee uses AI to power its employee benefits app, which businesses rely on to help their team members effectively navigate the coverage and medical treatment options available to them. It includes a virtual healthcare assistant known as Zoe that offers Healthee users personalized answers to benefits-related questions.


Location: New York, New York

Pfizer uses AI to aid its research into new drug candidates for treating various diseases. For example, the company used AI and machine learning to support the development of a Covid-19 treatment called PAXLOVID. Scientists at Pfizer are able to rely on modeling and simulation to identify compounds that have the highest likelihood of being effective treatment candidates so they can narrow their efforts.


Location: Tokyo, Japan

As a global pharmaceutical company, Takeda works to develop treatments and vaccines to address conditions ranging from celiac disease and Parkinson’s disease to rare autoimmune disorders and dengue. Takeda’s outline for sustainably and responsibly adopting AI into its operations explains that the company uses the technology for applications like developing new medicines and optimizing treatments already in use.


Location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Enlitic develops deep learning medical tools to streamline radiology diagnoses. The company’s deep learning platform analyzes unstructured medical data — radiology images, blood tests, EKGs, genomics, patient medical history — to give doctors better insight into a patient’s real-time needs.


Location: Austin, Texas

Babylon is on a mission to re-engineer healthcare by shifting the focus away from caring for the sick to helping prevent sickness, leading to better health and fewer health-related expenses. The platform features an AI engine created by doctors and deep learning scientists that operates an interactive symptom checker, using known symptoms and risk factors to provide the most informed and up-to-date medical information possible.


Location: Burlington, Massachusetts 

Butterfly Network designs AI-powered probes that connect to a mobile phone, so healthcare personnel can conduct ultrasounds in a range of settings. Both the iQ3 and IQ+ products provide high-quality images and extract data for fast assessments. With the ability to create and analyze 3D visualizations, Butterfly Network’s tools can be used for anesthesiology, primary care, emergency medicine and other areas.


Location: Palo Alto, California

CloudMedX uses machine learning to generate insights for improving patient journeys throughout the healthcare system. The company’s technology helps hospitals and clinics manage patient data, clinical history and payment information by using predictive analytics to intervene at critical junctures in the patient care experience. Healthcare providers can use these insights to efficiently move patients through the system.


Location: Boston, Massachusetts 

Biofourmis connects patients and health professionals with its cloud-based platform to support home-based care and recovery. The company’s platform integrates with mobile devices and wearables, so teams can collect AI-driven insights, message patients when needed and conduct virtual visits. This way, hospitals can release patients earlier and ensure a smoother transition while remotely monitoring their progress.


Location: San Mateo, California

Caption Health combines AI and ultrasound technology for early disease identification. AI guides providers through the ultrasound process in real time to produce diagnostic-quality images that the software then helps to interpret and assess.


Location: Copenhagen, Denmark 

Corti’s platform leverages AI to improve the operations and practices of emergency medical services personnel. A suite of Corti features automatically summarizes emergency calls, speeds up documentation and tracks employee performance. By compiling and analyzing this data, Corti can deliver insights to help teams pinpoint inefficiencies, offer employees tailored feedback and update any call guidelines as needed.


Location: San Francisco, California

Atomwise uses AI to tackle serious diseases, including Ebola and multiple sclerosis. The company’s neural network, AtomNet, helps predict bioactivity and identify patient characteristics for clinical trials. Atomwise’s AI technology screens between 10 and 20 million genetic compounds each day and can reportedly deliver results 100 times faster than traditional pharmaceutical companies.


Location: South San Francisco, California

Freenome uses AI in screenings, diagnostic tests and blood work to test for cancer. By deploying AI at general screenings, Freenome aims to detect cancer in its earliest stages and subsequently develop new treatments.


Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Recursion’s operating system accelerates drug discovery and development by generating and analyzing large amounts of in-house biological and chemical data. During experiments, Recursion relies on hardware systems, microscopes and continuous video feeds to collect data for its OS to review. The company has also partnered with NVIDIA to apply generative AI to its methods, making drug development even faster.   


Location: San Francisco, California 

Insitro specializes in human disease biology, combining generative AI and machine learning to spearhead medicine development. The company generates phenotypic cellular data and gathers clinical data from human cohorts for deep learning and machine learning models to comb through. Based on this information, Insitro’s technology can spot patterns in genetic data and build disease models to spur the discovery of new medicines.


Location: New York, New York

Owkin leverages AI technology for drug discovery and diagnostics with the goal of enhancing cancer treatment. The company’s AI tools help identify new drug targets, recommend possible drug combinations and suggest additional diseases that a drug can be repurposed to treat. Owkin also produces RlapsRisk, a diagnostic tool for assessing a breast cancer patient’s risk of relapse, and MSIntuit, a tool that assists with screening for colorectal cancer.


Location: Toronto, Ontario 

Deep Genomics’ AI platform helps researchers find candidates for developmental drugs related to neuromuscular and neurodegenerative disorders. Finding the right candidates during a drug’s development statistically raises the chances of successfully passing clinical trials while also decreasing time and cost to market.


Location: Armonk, New York

Once known as a Jeopardy-winning supercomputer, IBM’s Watson now helps healthcare professionals harness their data to optimize hospital efficiency, better engage with patients and improve treatment. Watson applies its skills to everything from developing personalized health plans to interpreting genetic testing results and catching early signs of disease.


Location: Houston, Texas

InformAI offers a suite of AI products for the healthcare field. Its RadOncAI tool uses AI to create a radiation therapy plan, homing in on tumors while limiting cancer patients’ exposure as much as possible. Meanwhile, TransplantAI evaluates donor and recipient data to determine promising matches and support successful organ transplants. And InformAI’s SinusAI product helps health teams more quickly detect sinus diseases. 


Location: San Francisco, California

Komodo Health has built the “industry’s largest and most complete database of de-identified, real-world patient data,” known as the Healthcare Map. This Map tracks individual patient interactions across the healthcare system, applying AI and machine learning to extract data related to individuals or larger demographics. With this information, healthcare professionals can develop more complete patient profiles while also using categories like race and ethnicity to factor social inequities into a patient’s health history.   


Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Oncora Medical aids oncologists in cancer research and prevention. During patient consultations, the company’s platform automates notetaking and locates important patient details from past records, saving oncologists time. Oncora’s platform also comes equipped with machine learning models that can identify high-risk individuals and determine when patients are eligible to participate in clinical trials.  


Location: New York, New York 

AiCure helps healthcare teams ensure patients are following drug dosage instructions during clinical trials. Supplementing AI and machine learning with computer vision, the company’s mobile app tracks when patients aren’t taking their medications and gives clinical teams time to intervene. In addition, AiCure provides a platform that gleans insights from clinical data to explain patient behavior, so teams can study how patients react to medications.


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

PathAI develops machine learning technology to assist pathologists in making more accurate diagnoses. The company’s goals include reducing errors in cancer diagnosis and developing methods for individualized medical treatment. PathAI worked with drug developers like Bristol-Myers Squibb and organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to expand its AI technology into other healthcare industries.


Location: Menlo Park, California

GRAIL leverages AI to detect cancer in its early stages. With a single blood test, the company’s Galleri test screens over 100,000 DNA regions for cancer signals. If it detects cancerous cells, the test can predict the tissue or organ associated with the cancer. GRAIL intends for its test to become a routine screening for cancer along with other comprehensive detection methods.  


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

With its early detection platform for cognitive assessments, Linus Health is on a mission to modernize brain health. Its proprietary assessment technology DCTclock takes the gold standard pen-and-paper clock drawing test for early signs of cognitive impairment and digitizes it, bringing together the most recent advances in neuroscience and AI to analyze over 100 metrics that reflect the patient’s cognitive function.


Location: San Francisco, California

In healthcare, delays can mean the difference between life and death, so helps care teams react faster with AI-powered healthcare solutions. The company’s AI products can detect issues and notify care teams quickly, enabling providers to discuss options and provide faster treatment decisions, thus saving lives.


Location: Los Angeles, California

Regard uses AI technology to diagnose patients. The company describes its automated system to be the clinical “co-pilot” to electronic medical records (EMRs). The data from EMRs is synthesized to discover a diagnosis. Additionally, healthcare providers receive specific recommendations about patient care. The system also updates patient documents automatically to reduce burnout among healthcare workers.

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Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Developed by a team out of Harvard Medical School, Buoy Health is an AI-based symptom and cure checker that uses algorithms to diagnose and treat illness. Here’s how it works: a chatbot listens to a patient’s symptoms and health concerns, then guides that patient to the correct care based on its diagnosis.


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center used AI for diagnosing potentially deadly blood diseases at an early stage. Doctors developed AI-enhanced microscopes to scan for harmful bacteria like E. coli and staphylococcus in blood samples at a faster rate than is possible using manual scanning. The scientists used 25,000 images of blood samples to teach the machines how to search for bacteria. The machines then learned how to identify and predict harmful bacteria in blood with 95 percent accuracy.


Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Iterative Health applies AI to gastroenterology to improve disease diagnosis and treatment. The company’s AI recruitment service uses computational algorithms to automate the process of identifying patients who are eligible to be potential candidates for inflammatory bowel disease clinical trials. Iterative Health also produces SKOUT, a tool that uses AI to help doctors identify potentially cancerous polyps.


Location: Peoria, Illinois

VirtuSense uses AI sensors to track a patient’s movements so that providers and caregivers can be notified of potential falls. The company’s products include VSTAlert, which can predict when a patient intends to stand up and notify appropriate medical staff, and VST Balance, which employs AI and machine vision to analyze a person’s risk of falling within the next year.


Location: Fully Remote

Cleerly makes AI technology to improve cardiovascular care. The company’s AI-enabled digital care platform measures and analyzes atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of plaque in the heart’s arteries. The technology is able to determine an individual’s risk of having a heart attack and recommend a personalized treatment plan.


Location: Bagsværd, Denmark

Novo Nordisk is a pharmaceutical and biotech company collaborating with Valo Health to develop new treatments for cardiometabolic diseases. The partnership seeks to make discovery and development faster by using Valo’s AI-powered computational platform, patient data and human tissue modeling technology.


Location: New Haven, Connecticut

BioXcel Therapeutics uses AI to identify and develop new medicines in the fields of immuno-oncology and neuroscience. Additionally, the company’s drug re-innovation program employs AI to find new applications for existing drugs or to identify new patients.

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Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Valo uses artificial intelligence to achieve its mission of transforming the drug discovery and development process. With its Opal Computational Platform, Valo collects human-centric data to identify common diseases among a specific phenotype, genotype and other links, which eliminates the need for animal testing. The company then establishes the molecule design and clinical development.


Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Combining AI, the cloud and quantum physics, XtalPi’s ID4 platform predicts the chemical and pharmaceutical properties of small-molecule candidates for drug design and development. The company’s investors have included Google, Tencent and Sequoia Capital.


Location: London, England

The primary goal of BenevolentAI is to get the right treatment to the right patients at the right time by using AI to produce a better target selection and provide previously undiscovered insights through deep learning. BenevolentAI works with major pharmaceutical groups to license drugs, while also partnering with charities to develop easily transportable medicines for rare diseases.


Location: Menlo Park, California

Deepcell uses artificial intelligence and microfluidics to develop technology for single-cell morphology. The company’s platform has a variety of applications, including cancer research, cell therapy and developmental biology.


Location: Austin, Texas

With the goal of improving patient care, Iodine Software is creating AI-powered and machine-learning solutions for mid-revenue cycle leakages, like resource optimization and increased response rates. The company’s CognitiveML product discovers client insights, ensuriodes documentation accuracy and highlights missing information.


Location: New York, New York

Kaia Health operates a digital therapeutics platform that features live physical therapists to provide people care within the boundaries of their schedules. The platform includes personalized programs with case reviews, exercise routines, relaxation activities and learning resources for treating chronic back pain and COPD. Kaia Health also features a PT-grade automated feedback coach that uses AI technology.


Location: New York, New York

Spring Health offers a mental health benefit solution employers can adapt to provide their employees with the resources to keep their mental health in check. The technology works by collecting a comprehensive dataset from each individual and comparing that against hundreds of thousands of other data points. The platform then uses a machine learning model to match people with the right specialist for either in-person care or telehealth appointments.


Location: Mountain View, California

Twin Health’s holistic method seeks to address and potentially reverse chronic conditions like Type 2 Diabetes through a mixture of IoT tech, AI, data science, medical science and healthcare. The company created the Whole Body Digital Twin — a digital representation of human metabolic function built around thousands of health data points, daily activities and personal preferences.


Location: Mountain View, California

Qventus is an AI-based software platform that solves operational challenges, including those related to emergency rooms and patient safety. The company’s automated platform can prioritize patient illness and injury and tracks hospital waiting times to help hospitals and health systems optimize care delivery.


Location: Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Clinic teamed up with IBM on the Discovery Accelerator, an AI-infused initiative focused on faster healthcare breakthroughs. The joint center is building an infrastructure that supports research in areas such as genomics, chemical and drug discovery and population health. The collaboration employs big data medical research for the purpose of innovating patient care and approaches to public health threats.


Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Johns Hopkins Hospital partnered with GE Healthcare to use predictive AI techniques to improve the efficiency of patient operational flow. A task force, augmented with AI, quickly prioritized hospital activity to benefit patients. Since implementing the program, the facility has assigned patients admitted to the emergency department to beds 38 percent faster.


Location: New York, New York

One Drop provides a discreet solution for managing chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as weight management. The One Drop Premium app allows people to manage their conditions head first, offering interactive coaching from real-world professionals, predictive glucose readings powered by AI and data science, learning resources and daily tracking of readings taken from One Drop’s Bluetooth-enabled glucose reader and other devices.


Location: Menlo Park, California

Subtle Medical uses AI to enhance images for radiology departments. The SubtlePET and SubtleMR products work with the machines a facility already uses to speed up MRI and PET scans while reducing image noise. The software has the potential to shrink wait times by scanning more patients each day.


Location: New York, New York

Twill describes itself as “The Intelligent Healing Company,” delivering digital healthcare products and partnering with enterprises, pharma companies and health plans to develop products using its Intelligent Healing Platform. The company uses AI to tailor personalized care tracks for managing medical conditions like multiple sclerosis and psoriasis. These individualized programs can include digital therapeutics, care communities and coaching options.


Location: San Francisco, California

Augmedix offers a suite of AI-enabled medical documentation tools for hospitals, health systems, individual physicians and group practices. The company’s products use natural language processing and automated speech recognition to save users time, increase productivity and improve patient satisfaction.

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Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Greenlight Guru, a medical technology company, uses AI in its search engine to detect and assess security risks in network devices. The company specializes in developing medical software, and its search engine leverages machine learning to aggregate and process industry data. Meanwhile, its risk management platform provides auto-calculated risk assessments, among other services.  


Location: Chicago, Illinois

Tempus uses AI to sift through the world’s largest collection of clinical and molecular data to personalize healthcare treatments. The company develops AI tools that give physicians insights into treatments and cures, aiding in areas like radiology, cardiology, and neurology.


Location: Austin, Texas is an end-to-end platform that uses AI to discover at-risk patients and recommend treatment options. Through the platform, healthcare organizations can receive personalized data about patients’ needs while collecting looped feedback, outreach and engagement strategies and digital therapeutics. The platform can be used by healthcare providers, payers, pharma and life science companies.


Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Beacon Biosignals aims to treat neurological and psychiatric diseases through its EEG analytics platform, which utilizes portal reporting, standardized neurobiomarkers and machine learning algorithms that “increase the probability of success at each stage of drug development.” Additionally, population stratification is used to identify various patient populations.


Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Proscia is a digital pathology platform that uses AI to detect patterns in cancer cells. The company’s software helps pathology labs eliminate bottlenecks in data management and uses AI-powered image analysis to connect data points that support cancer discovery and treatment.


Location: Mountain View, California’s AI analyzes data throughout a healthcare system to mine, automate and predict processes. It has been used to predict ICU transfers, improve clinical workflows and pinpoint a patient’s risk of hospital-acquired infections. Using the company’s AI to mine health data, hospitals can predict and detect sepsis, which ultimately reduces death rates.


Location: South San Francisco, California

AKASA’s AI platform helps healthcare providers streamline workflows by automating administrative tasks to allow staff to focus where they’re needed. The automation can be customized to meet a facility’s particular needs and priorities, while maintaining accuracy for managing claims, payments and other elements of the revenue cycle.


Location: Waltham, Massachusetts

Vicarious Surgical combines virtual reality with AI-enabled robots so surgeons can perform minimally invasive operations. Using the company’s technology, surgeons can virtually shrink and explore the inside of a patient’s body in detail. Vicarious Surgical’s technology concept prompted former Microsoft chief Bill Gates to invest in the company.

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Location: Madison, Wisconsin

The Accuray CyberKnife system uses AI and robotics to precisely treat cancerous tumors. The technology lets providers personalize stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiation therapy for each patient. Using the robot’s real-time tumor tracking capabilities, doctors and surgeons can treat affected areas rather than the whole body.


Location: Sunnyvale, California

The first robotic surgery assistant approved by the FDA, Intuitive’s da Vinci platforms feature cameras, robotic arms and surgical tools to aid in minimally invasive procedures. Da Vinci platforms constantly take in information and provide analytics to surgeons to improve future procedures. Da Vinci has assisted in over 10 million operations.


Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University developed HeartLander, a miniature mobile robot designed to facilitate therapy on the heart. Under a physician’s control, the tiny robot enters the chest through a small incision, navigates to certain locations of the heart by itself, adheres to the surface of the heart and administers therapy.


Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands

Microsure’s robots help surgeons overcome their human physical limitations. The company’s motion stabilizer system is intended to improve performance and precision during surgical procedures. Its MUSA surgical robot, developed by engineers and surgeons, can be controlled via joysticks for performing microsurgery.


Frequently Asked Questions

AI in healthcare is the use of machine learning, natural language processing, deep learning and other types of AI technology in the health field. These technologies are intended to improve health professionals’ capabilities and performance while enhancing the patient experience.

AI is used in healthcare to facilitate disease detection, automate documentation, store and organize health data and accelerate drug discovery and development, among other use cases.

Rose Velazquez, Matthew Urwin, Margo Steines, Abel Rodriguez and Da’Zhane Johnson contributed reporting to this story.

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