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Natural Language Processing Tools Become Greater Part of Healthcare Market

October 31, 2016

There's no doubt that healthcare by itself is a major, growing market. That's good news for everyone involved in this field, even if only peripherally. Better news, however, emerges from the fact that a lot of technologies are being incorporated into healthcare, and making new opportunities emerge as a result. Natural language processing (NLP) tools are expected to be one such new addition, and in a big way, if a report from ReportsnReports comes to fruition.

The ReportsnReports report suggests that, by 2021, the market for NLP tools will reach $2.65 billion, driven in large part by an increasing demand for the tools from the healthcare market. It's far from the only market that has an interest in NLP, of course, but healthcare is expected to be the great destabilizing element in this market.

Since there's a rapidly increasing amount of information in the healthcare market, healthcare staffs need an easier way to search and interact with that information to get what's needed at the time. NLP tools allow users to search in terms that are more familiar, and derive a result that's more closely matched up with what's needed at the time. There are several subsectors for the NLP market, ranging from speech analysis to text analytics to optical character recognition and beyond.

So with so many subsectors involved, and most expected to see at least some growth—the report expects the biggest growth rates in pattern and image recognition—it's not hard to see where this rising tide will ultimately lift all boats. Throw in some new uses for NLP outright, like an increasing body of vendors looking to use NLP to reduce complexity in certain medical procedures like X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and that only makes NLP a more valuable commodity.

Basically, it seems the healthcare market is realizing what the wider business market has known for some time: the more data that an organization has, the better able it is to derive actionable insights—things that a company can do related to the conclusions drawn from data—from all of that data. It's also realized that, while it's great to have data, data only really has value when it's used, and so the necessary tools to put that data to work are important to have on hand as well. Reducing complexity and improving response times are great cost-cutting measures that help improve profitability with better customer experiences, so the NLP market—which helps make data easier to handle—stands to gain in grand fashion.

In the end, the healthcare market is learning from its past and making changes to improve the next generation of customer experience. It knows that the graying of America alone will give it a fairly clear ride for the next 20 years or so, but it has to be ready for what lies beyond.

Edited by Alicia Young

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