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June 7, 2022

Filings buzz: tracking artificial intelligence mentions in healthcare

We've analysed companies' annual reports and other filings to see which key issues are receiving the most attention.

By Data Journalism Team

Mentions of artificial intelligence within the filings of companies in the healthcare sector were 436% higher during 2021 than in 2016, according to the latest analysis of data from GlobalData.

When healthcare companies publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Artificial intelligence is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether artificial intelligence is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of healthcare companies, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned artificial intelligence at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 63% compared to 17% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to artificial intelligence.

Of the 20 biggest employers in the healthcare sector, Cerner was the company which referred to artificial intelligence the most during 2021. GlobalData identified 30 artificial intelligence-related sentences in the United States-based company's filings - 0.4% of all sentences. BDMS mentioned artificial intelligence the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.3% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high artificial intelligence mentions included Mediclinic, Korian and Cardinal Health.

Across all healthcare companies the filing published in the fourth quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on artificial intelligence came from H.U.Group Holdings. Of the document's 1,045 sentences, five (0.5%) referred to artificial intelligence.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on artificial intelligence and how important the issue is considered within the healthcare sector, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning artificial intelligence more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into artificial intelligence have been successes or failures.

GlobalData also categorises artificial intelligence mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred to topic in the fourth quarter of 2021 was 'data science', which made up 35% of all artificial intelligence subtheme mentions by healthcare companies.

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