Machine learning to transform medicine
While robots and computers will probably never completely replace doctors and nurses, machine learning, deep learning and AI are transforming the healthcare industry, improving outcomes, and changing the way doctors think about providing care.
In the past decade, the medical community has taken a major step in adopting electronic health systems to make information more accessible to clinicians and patients.
Now, to make sense of all that information, healthcare providers are starting to turn to machine learning.
“On top of that data you have applications or machine learning algorithms, things that you’re doing against the data to allow you to gain insight, to make decisions and to optimise the outcomes,” said Eric Schnatterly, Vice President IBM Systems for Cloud Platforms.
When it comes to the effectiveness of machine learning, more data almost always yields better results – and the healthcare sector is sitting on a data goldmine.
McKinsey estimates that big data and machine learning in pharma and medicine could generate a value of up to US$100bn annually, based on better decision-making, optimised innovation, improved efficiency of research and clinical trials, and new tool creation for physicians, consumers, insurers, and regulators.
IBM has already begun working with the healthcare industry to understand the data and improve outcomes for patients.
“In the use case for healthcare, we do this with doctors around oncology and diagnosing cancers,” noted Schnatterly.
“Whether they’re benign or malignant. Even on prescribed treatments which treatments are likely going to be more successful and that system learns from the very best.
“The smartest oncologists in the world are providing their subject matter expertise to train these systems and so now you have a computer that can advise an average oncologist.
“Now the average oncologist will have the benefit of all the greatest and brightest minds around the world to make these kinds of decisions.”
The reason such technology is only just coming to the fore is not because it wasn’t known about but because the resources didn’t exist.
“It was cost-prohibitive to put together systems to allow them to be able to accelerate this and do it in an economical way where a hospital had the means to do it,” noted Schnatterly.
“With the advent of things like the GPUs that allow for great acceleration – although designed for video games, it turns out it’s a great accelerator for deep machine learning and deep learning.
“So, it now helps drive down the cost and improve performance.”
By 2018, 30% of healthcare providers will run cognitive analytics on patient data, according to industry analysts IDC.
Start-ups receive $60 billion investment, smash 2020 record
Start-ups on the continent have raised a massive 43.8 billion euros ($60.9 billion) in just the first six months of 2021, according to figures from Dealroom, surpassing the record 38.5 billion euros invested last year..
This is despite the fact that the number of venture deals signed so far is around half the amount agreed in 2020. Only about 2,700 funding rounds have been raised so far this year, compared to 5,200 last year.
Prime examples in times of change
Examples are Swedish buy-now-pay-later firm Klarna which has raised more than $1.6 billion in two financing rounds, the German stock trading app Trade Republic received $900 million in May and British payments provider Checkout.com snapped up $450 million at the start of the year.
The figures suggest that European tech firms are pulling in far larger sums of money per investment than in previous years, which defies the economic uncertainty of the pandemic and boosted online services enormously.
The CEO of Checkout.com, Guillaume Pousaz, said start-ups have often been created in times of crisis, citing the emergence of several new financial technology companies in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.
He added that big transformational change was often the time when there is the emergence of a lot of new start-ups, sometimes when people are losing their jobs for associated reasons.
UK leading the charge
Scale-Up Europe, a group that includes the founders of UiPath and Wise, proposed 21 recommendations to help the region build “the next generation of tech giants.” Among the suggestions are tax credits to corporates for investing in start-ups and regulatory changes that adapt to new innovations.
Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO of Klarna, said the U.K. leads Europe when it comes to tech policy, and that there were a number of regulatory issues needing to be addressed before the European Union can produce tech giants of its own.
Siemiatkowski highlighted EU regulation of web cookies as an example of “poor regulation.” Yet, as the number of $1 billion start-ups in Europe continues to grow, the number of exits in the continent is also increasing.
This year has already seen some notable acquisitions, including Etsy’s $1.6 billion purchase of U.K. fashion resale app Depop and JPMorgan’s takeover of London robo-advisor Nutmeg.
As for stock market listings, a number of notable debuts have taken place in London in particular, including food delivery app Deliveroo, cybersecurity firm Darktrace and reviews site Trustpilot. Money transfer giant Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, plans to go public in the U.K. capital soon.