Artificial intelligence is now becoming a part of every industry—from transportation, education, security, banking, and healthcare. In June 14, 2018, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced their first policy recommendations on artificial intelligence for the healthcare industry.
“As technology continues to advance and evolve, we have a unique opportunity to ensure that augmented intelligence is used to benefit patients, physicians, and the broad health care community.” – AMA Board Member Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH
He also added that “combining AI methods and systems with an irreplaceable human clinician can advance the delivery of care in a way that outperforms what either can do alone.”
AI as Augmented Intelligence
The medical community purposefully refers to artificial intelligence as “augmented intelligence,” as the former has a somewhat negative pop-culture connotation. Researchers and marketers suggest using this new term that bears a more neutral implication. Using “augmented intelligence” is a more accurate description because it reinforces the role of human intelligence when partnered with advanced technology.
The AMA commits to leveraging their ongoing engagement in digital health to improve patient and physician satisfaction. They also endeavor to integrate practitioner insights into the development, design, validation, and implementation of artificial intelligence in healthcare. These developments will have to be thoughtfully designed, of high quality, and clinically validated. AMA does not wish to replace humans in the medical field, but rather wants to elevate patient–physician experience with intelligent technology.
Any new developments must be transparent and conform to standards for reproducibility. They must also continually safeguard the privacy interests of patients, and the security and integrity of personal information.
Education is also at the heart of their new policies in artificial intelligence. They want to encourage learning for patients, practitioners, medical students, and other healthcare providers. The whole medical community has to have a broad and specific understanding of the applications and implications of artificial intelligence.
The legal implications of augmented intelligence must also be explored, such as intellectual property and liability. AMA advocates proper professional oversight for safe, effective, and equitable use of and access to artificial intelligence in healthcare. Ultimately, the substantial insights of physicians and patients will help guide research and development of AI tools.
Learning from Past Mistakes
AMA plans to focus on its strengths and learn from the implementation of the electronic health record (EHR). It had hardware–software incompatibility and security issues among others, which made it difficult for medical staff and professionals to use. All future iterations of EHR must be comprehensive, accessible, have a user-friendly interface, and have other high-level artificial intelligence functions.
Current Advances in Artificial Intelligence
There are a number of tools that harness the power of artificial intelligence in healthcare. For example, in medical imaging, there is Profound, which has impressive machine learning capabilities. Its algorithm-based analyses find symptoms and potential conditions such as breast cancer, osteoporosis, and aneurysms with 90% accuracy. This helps physicians understand patients better to provide highly informed and detailed diagnoses.
Clinical decision support is an emerging aspect of medicine where deep learning is crucial. In the software MatrixCare, EHRs are built into the system, which assists doctors in determining the right treatment paths for patients based on their medical history. It also warns of potential dangers and analyzes the smallest details in a person’s health profile.
Another innovation in AI is the Viz LVO. It seamlessly integrates with CT scanners and continually analyzes angiograms for (LVO) large vessel occlusion strokes. Time is of the essence when patients have strokes. The brain loses 2 million brain cells every minute that there is a clot. Once it detects an LVO, it generates a report and prioritizes the patient through a medical professional’s mobile device. This cuts many steps out of the conventional procedure, reducing waiting time for treatment from three hours to roughly six minutes. It essentially involves medical professionals earlier at the point of care, and supports faster treatment
While this is AMA’s first pronouncement into artificial intelligence, there will be more involvement and integration in the coming years. Their valuable collective input on in data, research, regulations, and implementations will be key to the rapid advancement in medicine worldwide. Sooner than later, more and more doctors, clinics, and hospitals will be using better and smarter technology in treating and managing patients.