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Artificial intelligence raises exciting possibilities for healthcare, but are companies promising more than they can deliver?

AI could possibly fuel the future of medtech, enabling such thrilling innovations as implanted devices that instantly react to minute changes, software that can identify the best treatment options for individuals facing life-threatening conditions and fully-functioning autonomous surgical systems.

But artificial intelligence’s potential also comes with an incredible level of hype.

“AI has the most transformative potential of anything I’ve seen in my life, and I graduated medical school 40 years ago. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever seen by far,” prominent cardiologist and author Dr. Eric Topol told Medical Design & Outsourcing. “But it’s more in promise than it is in reality.”

Topol is a professor of molecular medicine and EVP at Scripps Research and the author of the new book Deep Medicine, which explores the enormous potential that artificial intelligence could have on medicine.

And although he’s optimistic that AI will improve healthcare in the future, that functionality is still years away; Topol suggests that companies investing in AI-involved products need to perform prospective research and appropriately manage the hype around their offerings.