Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly moving into the mainstream of healthcare. The figure below demonstrates the increasing velocity of clinical AI FDA approvals. Today, the specialties where “pattern recognition” plays a prominent role (radiology, dermatology, pathology) are being impacted most directly. However, every aspect of healthcare will ultimately be reshaped by these technologies.
Amidst the remarkable advances that AI is making in healthcare, Sharona Hoffman, Professor of Health Law and Bioethics at Case Western University has written a thought-provoking article on the novel ethical and legal issues raised by the use of AI in clinical decision making and predictive analytics. Read the article.
She points out the potential for misuse of these data and contends that legislation, similar to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, should be considered. Such legislation would help ensure that employers and insurers would be barred from discriminating against an individual based on non-genetic predictive data.
So how do we sort through this? AI in clinical care is here to stay and it will be playing an increasingly prominent role in our clinical armamentarium. How can we best ensure that these technologies are utilized in a thoughtful and clinically appropriate fashion?
I believe that the medical specialty associations are the most appropriate bodies to deliberate these rapidly emerging issues. Given the rate of clinical AI deployment, now is the time for scholarly societies to empanel thought leaders to consider these issues. Physician leaders, in partnership with cross-disciplinary allies, must ensure that these new technologies are being used in a clinically, morally, legally and ethical fashion.