We are on the brink of technological shifts that promise to revolutionize industries and enhance human creativity, economic growth, and “democratize consumption,” as described by Naval Ravikant in The Almanack. Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly generative AI (GenAI), which creates new content from learned data, is increasingly integrated into various sectors, transforming operations and fostering innovation. Its impact on healthcare, especially women’s health, could address long-standing disparities and gaps.

Despite making up 51% of the global population, women’s health needs are often overlooked. A McKinsey report highlights that women spend an average of 9 years in poor health, 25% more time than men, affecting productivity and earning potential. AI can address significant issues in women’s healthcare by accelerating research, enhancing clinical accuracy, and improving fertility treatments and cancer diagnostics.

Accelerating Healthcare Research

Historically, women were excluded from clinical trials, leading to a lack of data on how drugs and devices work for them. A Berkeley study found that excluding women from studies resulted in adverse effects from medications. AI can accelerate research, handle large data sets, and account for gender differences, leading to more effective solutions for women. A study in the NCBI highlights how AI can automate tasks like trial design and data analysis, expediting research.

Enhancing Clinical Accuracy

AI can serve as a “virtual collaborator” in clinical settings, helping diagnose and treat patients accurately. Studies, such as those cited by Marsh McLennan, show that women and minorities are more likely to be misdiagnosed. AI’s ability to analyze complex data and recognize subtle health issues can improve diagnosis accuracy. Start-ups like Predicta Med and Glass Health are leveraging AI to better diagnose and treat conditions.

Improving Fertility Treatments

Infertility affects around 1 in 6 couples, with IVF success rates significantly lower for women over 35. AI can optimize hormone dosages, assist embryologists in grading embryos, and predict IVF success by integrating factors like age, hormonal levels, and genetic data. Companies like ImVitro and Gaia use AI to streamline IVF processes and support patients.

Advancing Cancer Diagnostics

Global cancer cases are expected to rise by 75% by 2050, according to The Guardian. Early diagnosis significantly improves survival rates for cancers like lung, breast, and bowel cancer. AI tools can analyze images and data from various sources to detect cancer earlier and more accurately. Companies like Vara, Deeplook, and Panakeia are pioneering AI-driven cancer diagnostics.

Addressing Ethical Concerns

AI’s potential in healthcare comes with ethical concerns, particularly around data representation and bias. Ensuring AI models are trained with diverse data sets, including women from all ethnicities, is crucial for fair and accurate health assessments.

The global healthcare industry, valued at $12 trillion, stands to benefit significantly from AI integration. The AI healthcare market, worth $16 billion in 2022, is expected to grow to $173.5 billion by 2029, according to Binariks. AI can create savings of up to $360 billion for the U.S. healthcare industry alone by enhancing efficiencies and improving patient outcomes.

Venture capital is investing heavily in AI healthcare companies, with 23% of U.S. VC healthcare investments in 2023 going to AI-driven firms, as found by SVB. Corporations like Nvidia, Microsoft, and Alphabet are also investing in AI healthcare start-ups to expand their capabilities and market reach.

As the General Partner of Goddess Gaia Ventures, we focus on investing in start-ups addressing women’s health issues, leveraging AI to close the 169-year women’s health gap faster, as highlighted by McKinsey and the World Economic Forum.

AI in healthcare is evolving rapidly, offering the potential to improve patient care, reduce costs, and accelerate medical research. Transforming our healthcare systems from volume-based to holistic, preventive medicine requires embracing AI’s role in this new paradigm.