Healthcare reimagined: The surge of AI in the technology supercycle

By Ben Zanghi, Director of Technology, McCann Health New Jersey, Hill Holliday Health

The era of the Technology Supercycle, as outlined in Amy Webb's annual Emerging Tech Trends report at SXSW, is defined by the convergence of artificial intelligence (AI), connected ecosystems and biotechnology. While these technologies are evolving, collectively they will drive unprecedented transformation, redefining the boundaries of innovation and application across sectors, including healthcare marketing.

The evolution of AI: beyond language

AI's journey began with generative models excelling in language processing, but today, we witness its expansion into diverse modalities. From creating captivating visual imagery to making strides in biology and robotics, AI is breaking new ground.

The potential impact of this AI expansion is comparable to the advent of the steam engine that drove the Industrial Revolution - an analogy many agree with. AI promises to revolutionize healthcare marketing by providing tools that deliver deeply personalized patient care and invaluable insights.


Prompting: from literal to conceptual

Initially, AI models required highly-literal prompts to function. Now, they begin to thrive on conceptual prompting and collaboration, understanding and anticipating needs in ways previously unimaginable. This evolution transforms AI into an intellectual companion, challenging and refining our thoughts, much like a sparring partner who is always at hand to push our cognitive boundaries.  In this context, it is not hard to think of an AI tool as a healthcare concierge - not bounded by a Q&A session but more an interactive session, a conversation where the engagement produces thought and creativity.


The democratization of AI

We are moving towards the commoditization of general-purpose foundation models, with open-source models being fine-tuned for specific applications to deliver remarkable outcomes. This trend signifies a move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to AI, enabling healthcare marketers to leverage tailored solutions that address unique challenges and opportunities within the healthcare sector. 


From predicting language to acting: the advent of large action models

The evolution from Large Language Models (LLMs) that predict what to say next, to Large Action Models (LAMs) that predict what to do next, marks a significant leap in AI’s capabilities. This transition from predictive to prescriptive intelligence opens new avenues for automating and optimizing healthcare marketing operations, offering strategies that are not only reactive but proactive in enhancing patient engagement and care.

Nudging towards artificial general intelligence

AI is inching closer to achieving Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), a stage where machines possess a breadth of capabilities akin to human intelligence. This progression is evidenced by AI's ability not just to answer questions but to create tools and solutions for complex projects. Such advancements could revolutionize healthcare marketing, enabling the development of highly sophisticated tools for diagnosis, patient engagement and personalized care.

Conclusion: embracing AI in healthcare marketing

As we navigate through the Technology Supercycle, the advancements in AI offer unprecedented opportunities in a breadth of sectors – from climate to renewable energy, age old medical challenges such as cancer, and in healthcare marketing. By embracing these innovations, healthcare marketers can lead the way in transforming patient care, engagement, and the overall healthcare experience. Just as the Industrial Revolution reshaped society, the convergence of AI, connected ecosystems, and biotechnology invites us to reimagine the future of healthcare marketing, ensuring it is as personalized, efficient and impactful as possible.