AI Ethics & Healthcare

AI provides the mechanisms to enable machines to learn. Incorporating AI in the delivery of healthcare knowledge will facilitate fast, efficient, and accurate healthcare decision making. AI provides the capabilities to expand, use, and create knowledge in ways we have not yet imagined. AI systems which use machine learning, can detect patterns in enormous volumes of data and model complex, interdependent systems to generate outcomes that improve the efficiency of healthcare decision making. The use of AI (machine learning) in delivering knowledge is based on the data that is used to train the machine learning algorithms. AI has been positioned as an important element in delivering health related knowledge and it is imperative that when AI is utilized to assist patients and physicians to make healthcare decisions that the knowledge is without bias, and the decisions made with the knowledge are ethical.

Healthcare Analytics

The healthcare sector is a knowledge-intensive industry, and it depends on data and analytics to improve the delivery of healthcare (treatments, practices, procedures). There has been tremendous growth in the range of information collected, including clinical, genetic, behavioral and environmental data, with healthcare professionals, biomedical researchers and patients producing vast amounts of data from an array of devices (for example, genome sequencing machines, high-resolution medical imaging, and smartphone applications). How this data is collected used and protected will also bring challenges that all countries driven by its legal standards will have to address. In the United States organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and policies such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 are in place to ensure standards, guidelines, data security and privacy is adhered to and enforced. However when it comes to AI applications in healthcare there must be standards in place, in particular ethical standards to protect the healthcare consumer when AI applications are used.

Ethical Issues of AI Delivery of Healthcare Knowledge

AI applications in healthcare has produced many benefits by delivering knowledge to detect health conditions early, deliver preventative services, optimizing clinical decision making, discovering new treatments and medications, delivering personalized healthcare, while providing powerful self-monitoring tools, applications and trackers. Although AI in healthcare offers many benefits it also raises policy questions and concerns that include access to (health) data and privacy, which includes personal data protection as well as ethical issues caused by bias in AI algorithms.

For the complete article see Medhealth Outlook.

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