How AI could boost this ASX 300 healthcare stock

The Firetrail investment management team see AI providing a 'material tailwind' for this stock.

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ASX 300 healthcare stock Integral Diagnostics Ltd (ASX: IDX) is up 1.43% to $2.49 per share on Thursday.

Meantime, the S&P/ASX 300 Index (ASX: XKO) is up 0.65% to 7,607.7 points.

Boutique investment manager Firetrail has identified Integral Diagnostics as an ASX 300 stock likely to benefit from artificial intelligence advancements.

It says AI and teleradiology present tangible opportunities for the company to increase productivity and drive better EBITDA margins over the medium term.

And obviously, increases in productivity and margins have the potential to bump up the ASX 300 stock's earnings and impact its share price over time.

AI may provide a 'material tailwind' for productivity

Integral Diagnostics provides diagnostic imaging services like MRIs and CTs to GPs, medical specialists and hospital groups in Australia and New Zealand.

According to a recent investor update, Firetrail's Australian Small Companies Fund analysts think AI could provide a "material tailwind" to labour productivity at Internal Diagnostics.

They note that a shortage of radiologists, sonographers and nuclear medicine practitioners has driven up the cost of labour, and the company's revenue growth has not kept pace.

This has led to "substantial EBITDA margin declines" for the ASX 300 healthcare stock.

But AI could change the dynamic for Internal Diagnostics by improving productivity.

The Firetrail team says:

AI can be applied to scans to identify abnormalities and draw radiologists' attention to areas of concern allowing for faster assessments. AI diagnostic tools are currently being applied to high volume, low complexity scans such as ultrasound and X-Ray. Radiologists therefore have more availability to focus on higher cost, higher complexity images such as MRI and CT.

Currently, 5% of the scans assessed by Integral Diagnostics use AI tools. The company expects this to increase by two or three times over the next 12 months alone.

A productive radiologist can assess an average of 200 scans per day. With the help of AI, this could grow to 1,000 scans per day.

Teleradiology, which enables scans to be sent to radiologists off-site for assessment, would make it easier for Internal Diagnostics to manage its workforce.

Firetrail says:

Integral Diagnostics says approximately 15% of their imaging volumes are assessed via teleradiology. The company expects teleradiology to double to 30% over the coming years, improving both the supply of radiologists and reducing the cost per scan.

Firetrail notes the imaging industry is fragmented compared to the pathology market, with 43% of suppliers being small independents compared to 4% of the pathology market. This opens the door to acquisition opportunities, and Integral Diagnostics has bought five other businesses since FY20.

ASX 300 stock price snapshot

The past two-and-a-half years have been challenging price-wise for this ASX 300 healthcare stock.

However, Internal Diagnostics shares have been on an upward trajectory in 2024.

The ASX 300 stock has risen 29% in the year to date while the index has lifted 0.36%.

Motley Fool contributor Bronwyn Allen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Integral Diagnostics. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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