The tortoise and the hare – AI as a driver of sustainable healthcare. (F3)

Blog on EHFG Forum 3 the Future is now – AI as a driver of sustainable healthcare.

AI is often misunderstood. What do we mean when we say AI? Let’s google it shall we?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a term for simulated intelligence in machines. These machines are programmed to “think” like a human and mimic the way a person acts.” 

Smart algorithms that can for example simulate a diagnosis from a CT scan. A reassuring feeling? Or are you worried? Your thoughts on the matter are probably based on whether you have most recently watched Disney’s Big Hero 6 or a Netflix episode of Black Mirror. To be frank. What other grounds should you otherwise resort to? A point addressed by the EHFG session “ the future is now – AI as a driver of sustainable healthcare.” There is little evidence.

But do we have time to get the evidence? We already live in an AI world. It is time for action. People are already profiting from AI in healthcare. Well there is little evidence, but we can follow the money and here we see a growing commercial interest in AI investments in healthcare. In this tortoise vs hare situation will our governing bodies step up and give healthcare providers a voice and a standard to make the efforts in AI effective in order to win this race?

What about sustainable healthcare? Let’s ask google again:

“A sustainable health and care system is achieved by delivering high quality care and improved public health without exhausting natural resources or causing severe ecological damage.”

But wait… This is not what I meant. Google must not have gotten the context right. There must be a misinterpretation on definitions.

A diagnosis by Google might not be the best after all. For AI to be effective in driving a sustainable healthcare system we need to understand that “technology-driven change can lead to more mistakes than needs-driven change”. That we as healthcare professionals should step up to our roles and commit to requiring evidence before we act. To realize that when you use AI, you are responsible for its effects on your caregivers and patients. Whether it is the nurse who was assured her patient was breathing because the monitor did not tell her he was not or the patient that gets the advice to take a pill for heart disease when he is wondering about his erectile dysfunction. Outcomes can be devastating or surprisingly effective.

Before we move forward in artificial intelligence, should we not first move forward in intelligence?

 

This Blog was written by the Young Gasteiner Véronique Bos  

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