Healthcare goes digital and it might try this "nearly without spending a dime," says tech investor Tim Draper
People wait in line to get a 15-minute rapid Covid-19 test on November 24, 2020 in Madison, Wisconsin.
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The use of technology will make health care "almost free worldwide," according to venture capitalist Tim Draper.
"Healthcare is going to be completely digitalized," said CNBC's Dan Murphy during a panel discussion at FinTech Abu Dhabi that happened practically this year.
"This will create near-free health care around the world," said the founder and managing partner of venture capital firm Draper Associates in the early stages.
Ibrahim Ajami of Mubadala Investment Company, one of Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth funds, said the coronavirus resulted in "probably the most significant acceleration in technology … that we will see in our lives". The role of technology in healthcare has changed, he said.
"From clinical trials to drug discovery to healthcare system transformation and even telemedicine and personalized health – many of us will go through this entire Covid pandemic without ever seeing a doctor," said Ajami, director of operations in Mubadala.
According to Draper, artificial intelligence and data will help create a "really good AI doctor" and develop drugs that are unique to the person who takes them.
He pointed to CloudMedx, a health tech company that Draper Associates has invested in that uses medical data to "diagnose your disease better than the average doctor". The company announced last year that its clinical AI assistant outperformed human doctors on a modified version of the United States Medical Licensing Exam in 2019.
"You start to combine this with other data – your genetic history, your blood test results, your Fitbit results, the plane seat you sat in, the food you ate – all of that data will be available, and this data – that's what I'm going to make a really good AI doctor, "Draper told CNBC.
Technology is also helping to develop drugs that are specific to the recipient, and robots are even being used in surgery, he added.
In the future, artificial intelligence will diagnose and develop the specific medicine required, he predicted. "It's going to be a great place because I think most of it can be done at very little cost."
The early internet investor added that medical costs had been "insane" for many years. "Eventually we will have a way to make healthcare a lot cheaper."