Dec 1, 2022 – Many people fear the unknown, and exactly how artificial intelligence could transform healthcare and the medical experience is no exception.
For example, people might fear that AI will remove all human interactions from healthcare in the future. Not true, say the experts. Physicians and other healthcare workers may worry that technology will replace their clinical judgment and experience. Not true either, experts say.
The AI robots do not take over.
AI and machine learning remain technologies that enhance human know-how. For example, AI can help track a patient over time better than a doctor who relies on memory alone, can speed up image analysis, and is very good at prediction.
But AI will never replace human intuition in medicine, experts say.
“AI is emotionless. It’s fast and very, very intelligent, but it has no intuition,” said Naheed Kurji, executive chair of the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare and CEO of Cycla Inc.
Machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence in which a computer learns over time as it receives more and more data, might sound ominous to a person who may not fully understand the technology. For this reason, education and awareness-raising are essential to address concerns about this growing technology.
“You have to understand human behavior and know how to help people overcome their innate fears of anything new,” says Kurji.
All of this new science needs to be explained to the public, and machine learning certainly deserves an explanation,” says Angeli Moeller, PhD, Head of Data and Integrations Generating Insights at Roche in Berlin and Executive Vice President of the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.
“It’s useful to justify it with examples that the general population is familiar with and with grown technology,” she says. “We benefit from a significant amount of machine learning on our smartphones – even if you’re just looking at your Google search or satellite navigation system.”
According to Moeller, it’s helpful to think of AI as an assistant to a doctor, nurse, caregiver, or even a patient trying to understand more about a medical diagnosis, treatment plan, or prognosis.
With big data comes great responsibility. “Healthcare industry accountability is important,” she says.
With this in mind, the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare was founded in 2019 as a forum for industry players – pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies and database companies – to bring together and address important AI issues. The group attempts to answer some fundamental questions including: how do we ensure we have an ethical and appropriate use of artificial intelligence in healthcare? How do we ensure that this innovation reaches the patient as quickly as possible?
“If you think about your personal life, a decade ago your car didn’t have autopilot modes where it was driving itself,” said Sastry Chilukuri, co-CEO of Medidata and founder and president of Acorn AI. “You didn’t really have an iPhone — it’s like a computer in your hand — let alone an Apple Watch — it’s like another mini-computer on your wrist, pumping out all sorts of data.”
“Our world has changed dramatically, as it has in the last 15 years,” he says. “It’s very interesting, I think. It’s a good time to be alive.”