How can Artificial Intelligence (AI) influence us? And how can it influence the medtech industry?

Vygon Group
3 min readApr 3, 2019

Vygon’s opinion: François Rochiccioli, Vice President BU Obstetrics Neonatology Enteral

When I was asked this question for the first time, I put a lot of thought into it. I felt it was obvious that AI will change our children lives, but mine?

I thought at the time that the people who were making the most money with AI were movie makers, from Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001 Space Odyssey’ in 1968, through Steven Spielberg’s ‘AI’ in 2001 to Charlie Brooker’s current Black Mirror TV series.

Now, after studying this topic, I realize that AI is a reality NOW and that it is fast becoming part of our daily life.

First, I would like to take a small step back and define carefully what we can consider to be AI. In two sentences, as in Harvard Business Review’s definition, AI can be defined as “when we apply it to machines, particularly machine learning (ML) — that is, the machine’s ability to keep improving its performance without humans having to explain exactly how to accomplish all the tasks it is given. The most important thing to understand about ML is that it represents a fundamentally different approach to creating software: the machine learns from examples, rather than being explicitly programmed for a particular outcome.”

At Vygon, we always speak about evidence-based medicine when we quote medical articles to demonstrate the superiority of our products. Therefore, it is quite natural to think that AI fits well into our medical field. Evidence-based medicine is understandably keen to adapt to AI as data collection and processing is key for prediction.

Advanced medical devices are good tools for data collection. Today we manufacture catheters, tomorrow we will manufacture smart catheters able to transmit information to deep learning machines. These machines will be able to compare our data with millions of others to formulate and propose the right diagnosis.

Is it a dream? No, it is a reality. For example, the company Enlitic claims on its website to use deep learning to distill actionable insights from billions of clinical cases. It is building solutions to help doctors leverage the collective intelligence of the medical community. As a result, the treatment of skin cancers is experiencing important changes in its diagnostic phases.

“Today we manufacture catheters, tomorrow we will manufacture smart catheters able to transmit information to deep learning machines.”

In conclusion, I believe we now have to look at AI through the lens of technologies capabilities; also business capabilities, as working with the right partners will very rapidly broaden the scope of AI.

How lucky we are to be part of this major advance in human history!