Artificial intelligence: What medtech’s top influencers think
Artificial intelligence’s effect on medtech was a question that came up continually during our DeviceTalks Boston show in early May.
Here is what some of the top influencers in the industry had to say:
Boston Scientific CEO Mike Mahoney on artificial intelligence and medtech“I’ll give you some practical applications. … We have manufacturing plants around the world, and we have great quality systems, and we have great quality engineers who inspect everything, and we have a zillion microscopes looking at every little product that we have all over the world. Our team is leveraging AI capabilities for visualization inspection rather than the human eye constantly doing that with the mistakes that are inherent and scrapping products and so forth. … We’re seeing cost productivity and better quality by just leveraging AI in our visualization inspection in our plants. So it’s still at its infancy, but if you think of a large company where you’re spending over 3%, probably 3.5%of sales and quality and X percent of that’s within that visualization area, it’s a great practical application that’s going create less scrap, safer products. …
“You have variance of doctor skills all over the world. If you have that AI algorithm, just like they have with diagnostic imaging, you can raise the bar in terms of quality and potentially speed programs. You’re seeing AI used all over the place. You see it used in our diagnostics business in CRM where we have these two-week Holter monitors. Your heart beats 100,000 times a day and you have thousands of patients that you’re monitoring. And you can’t hire 8,000 people in Gillette Stadium to read all these EKGs. So you leverage AI algorithms to actually read the EKGs for you, and they flag kind of red, yellow, green as to which ones to look at for the human inspection. I think you’ll see it improve quality, as I mentioned. You’ll see it in our training and our marketing capabilities. And I think you’re going see some amazing AI capabilities typically around the diagnostic area that’ll be married with our implants.”
BD CEO Tom Polen on artificial intelligence and medtech“We’re doing work with AI both to help us simplify our organization and … using AI to automate internal processes or using AI to optimize our manufacturing systems and cost positions, playing it in those scenarios. But also, we’ve been using AI for quite some time in product technology. .. [We have] an AI platform that’s really taking off that we have developed in partnership with Microsoft using their AI experts. And this is around looking at behaviors within a hospital of clinicians and how they interact with our devices across different parameters to identify who could be diverting narcotics in the hospital — and help make sure that we get those patients help and prevent harm to patients. … We’ve got a lot of other products with AI in the pipeline, and we see it both making BD stronger as a company in how we operate and also making products better for our customers.”
Dr. Nitin Goyal, orthopedic surgeon and chief science, technology and innovation officer at Zimmer Biomet“In my space, if you come in with knee arthritis, what determines whether you should have surgery? Today it’s based on kind of who you see versus a real data driven thing. It’s, ‘Well, I have this much pain.’ Is that enough pain to have surgery? Your doctor thought it was at that time, but maybe if you see someone else they will tell you a different answer. And I’m not saying that that independence shouldn’t exist, but I wonder if you could add more data to that story. So maybe even before you come to see that provider, they already know that you should be seeing that provider. So maybe you just need to see your [primary care provider], maybe you need to see a physician assistant. Maybe you don’t need even to be evaluated by a surgeon, because that’s not the level of problem.”