One of the largest AI platforms in healthcare is one you’ve never heard of, until now

For years, advocates have hyped Artificial Intelligence’s (AI) potential to do for healthcare what it’s doing for other industries – personalize recommendations, prioritize searches, and tag pictures. Investments have reflected the excitement, with the healthcare AI market expected to reach $6.6B by 2021.

“People see smart computers all around them – Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Tesla’s self-driving car – and they think healthcare should be the same. Obviously, healthcare is far more complex, requires much higher accuracy, and has less margin for error,” said Dr. Michael Blum, Associate Vice Chancellor for Informatics, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), speaking on the topic ahead of last year’s Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual conference.

However, disparate efforts, different systems, massive amounts of data and layers of complexity have meant the industry remains largely unchanged. Fortunately, most hospitals have at least one thing in common: imaging machines – the technology radiologists use to scan, diagnose and treat patients and the largest generator of healthcare data. A staggering 90 percent of all healthcare data comes from imaging technology, yet 97 percent of it goes unanalyzed or unused. Given these statistics, many argue this medical tech is a prime contender for AI.

New information announced today may prove just that. “Edison,” a nod to the breakthrough inventor and General Electric’s founder, is an intelligence platform built to connect data from millions of imaging devices. It has quietly been spurring apps and AI-powered devices that are showing real results.