AI needs rules and regulations to evolve effectively

CHICAGO — During the Machine Learning and AI for Healthcare Forum at the 2023 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition here on Monday, panelists discussed the good, the bad and the possibilities for artificial intelligence. 

“The opportunity is to really leverage the power of these 0’s and 1’s in mass, really bring them together and bring out the insights that are actionable at the point of decision making … and nudge those behaviors so we’re able to move healthcare in the right direction,” said Rasu Shrestha, enterprise executive vice president and chief innovation and commercialization officer at Advocate Health.

Lance Owens, chief medical information officer at the University of Michigan Health-West, said using AI for documentation in the EHR could give providers more time to engage personally with patients.

“To be able to go into the exam room and have a relaxed pose with a patient and be able to look the patient eye-to-eye and have a very honest conversation, to gather that information, filter it and come up with a plan,” Owens said. “Then knowing that in the background all of that is being captured, and I don’t have to worry about putting that in later or in real time is a wonderful thing.”

Additionally, Shrestha said AI has the power to allow providers to understand data blind spots, such as why a patient missed an appointment. But with all its opportunities, AI developers need to stay cautious, especially when it comes to introducing racial bias.

“We have to be humble enough to learn from the mistakes that have happened with minorities,” said Judy Wawira Gichoya, assistant professor of interventional radiology and informatics at Emory University.

Shrestha said healthcare still has work to do when it comes to developing ethical guidelines for AI use. 

“We are so woefully behind in catching up to and defining some of the rules and some of the regulations and the ethics of what AI can and cannot do and what it should and should not do,” he said. 

Mark Zandi will offer more detail in the HIMSS23 session “Keynote: Are More Turbulent Times Ahead for Healthcare? An Economic Outlook (Part One).” It is scheduled for Friday, April 21, at 8:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. CT at the West Building, Level 3, Skyline Ballroom, room W375.

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