At present, the development of medical AI (artificial intelligence) in my country has accelerated significantly. In January this year, my country's first AI product to obtain the third-class medical device registration certificate was officially approved for listing, which has pioneering and breakthrough significance for my country's medical AI industry. The medical AI industry is expected to enter a new stage of large-scale commercialization. Relatively mature fields such as AI medical imaging will take the lead in forming a market competition pattern.
Industrial structure presents an inverted triangle
The medical AI industry chain is composed of three modules: a basic layer, a technical layer, and an application layer. The data resources and data acquisition and integration capabilities of the basic layer are the foundation for the construction of the industrial ecology; the algorithms, computing power and general technology of the technical layer are used to build the technological moat The key is that the infrastructure belonging to the AI ecosystem requires long-term investment; the application layer is the channel through which the value of AI technology can be realized in different medical scenarios.
Taken together, the medical AI industry structure presents an inverted triangle shape. The upstream basic layer consists of medical big data, including disease data, personal genome data, underwriting and claims data, clinical data and other data types. Data owners include individuals, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, government medical insurance departments, etc. The main business entities involved are data collection companies and data processing companies. The midstream technical layer has the characteristics of high investment, high income, and high entry barriers, which are mainly deployed by technology giants. The downstream application layer mainly includes application scenarios such as medical imaging, drug development, auxiliary diagnosis, and disease prediction. This link brings together a large number of medical AI startup companies.
Medical AI is favored by capital
Among the multiple application scenarios of medical AI, the field of AI medical imaging is the most mature, and it is also the only field in China that has approved medical AI products. Current applications mostly start with a single disease, focusing on pure image training, focusing on tumors. And chronic diseases. Among them, pulmonary nodules and fundus screening are the disease areas with the largest number of companies, and breast cancer is also one of the popular areas.
The future development potential of AI drug research and development is huge. At present, my country's AI drug R&D is mainly applied in the drug discovery stage and clinical research stage. Among them, target discovery is the most popular application field for AI drug R&D. From the perspective of the development of its application scenarios, in the future, drug synthesis may become the application direction with the highest degree of automation in AI drug research and development. The medical AI industry is developing rapidly and is favored by capital. As of the end of March this year, my country's medical AI industry has received a total of 204 financings, with a financing amount exceeding 21 billion yuan. From the perspective of field distribution, financing projects are mainly distributed in the field of AI medical imaging, followed by AI-assisted diagnosis; from the perspective of investment rounds, most of the financing is early stage, and the number of financing projects in the A round and previous rounds accounted for as much as 71% . Judging from the annual financing of medical AI in recent years, in 2018, medical AI financing was the hottest. Since 2019, the medical AI capital market has cooled.
Three types of enterprises build an industrial ecology
Medical AI companies include three types, namely startup companies, Internet platforms, and traditional medical-related companies. The three types of companies have their own advantages, and the market layout is differentiated. Generally speaking, technology giants take advantage of the Internet foundation and platform, focusing on technology and ecological layout. Internet companies tend to use their own Internet foundation and platform advantages to carry out technical layout, enter the AI medical field through independent research and development of related products, and strive to develop targeted technology-enabled industry applications in related fields, or expand their business territory through extensional mergers and acquisitions.
Throughout China’s Internet giants, they all aim to change medical care through technology-Baidu provides the foundation for AI medical services through smart cloud, Huawei uses 5G to enhance AI medical service capabilities, Ali deploys "medical brain", and Tencent uses AI medical imaging as a breakthrough , While accelerating mergers...
Start-up companies often focus on one or more application levels. Start-up companies mainly cut in from the application links of medical imaging, auxiliary diagnosis, and intelligent assistance. As the company's business matures, it gradually expands the application areas.
Traditional medicinal equipment companies are deploying in the AI medical field through technical cooperation or mergers and acquisitions, and business development pays more attention to the medical attributes of products. Leading medical device companies represented by Philips, GM, and Siemens are accelerating their deployment in the medical AI field. Take Philips as an example. In the field of medical AI, the company relies on clinical experience, digitization, AI and other technologies to continuously launch solutions in the field of health management to provide people with better health protection and medical care at a lower cost.