AI in health care: a synergy of humans and technology

An excerpt from Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: A Compilation of Stories from Doctors Across Multiple Disciplines on AI Breakthroughs, Challenges, and Potentials in the Healthcare System.

Imagine having a personal health or administrative assistant who never sleeps but continuously tracks and analyzes your data. Also, imagine you have at your practice, startup, or entrepreneurial work where you have an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm can analyze vast amounts of patient data, including medical records, imaging, and lab results, to identify patterns and anomalies that might be challenging for humans to detect. It’s like having an AI tool tailored for your work or health, providing care that fits you like a glove, stitched to your individual needs and preferences.

Many business startups have recently used AI as the Swiss Army knife of medicine — a powerful, multi-tool gadget set to revolutionize patient care and daily work. But for physicians who are “boots on the ground,” there are a lot of safety, ethical, and legal implications to consider.

And the confusing part? It’s just the beginning.

We live in a day and age where opinions about AI vary greatly. There are “haters” and “lovers,” “users” and “experts.” There is a wide variety of perspectives, machines, and data. Many startup companies want to get hospitals’ data, and it is up to physicians to filter whom to share and how to steer data that will create new models of generative AI. The tech keeps evolving, so we will see more jaw-dropping developments in AI health care, but can we really use many of them in clinics or businesses?

I have learned that many AI tools have been developed but are not practical to use in our daily practice. While it’s exciting to witness the birth and growth of innovative AI solutions, integrating them into a busy physician’s routine involves ethics, trust, and legal responsibility.

AI tools have broadened my knowledge in the field of oncology, augmented my expertise, identified clinical trials, allowed me to share my knowledge with a national audience, and also connected me with relevant, but also I thought not-relevant audiences initially.

Learning more about AI tools has also significantly impacted my journey.

As you gain insights into the requirements and potentials of AI tools across various medical specialties and industries, you become an integral part of the effort to address potential biases, equity issues, and other ethical concerns within the relevant fields.

Think about some of the decisions you have made in your life about AI.

  • Do you tend to feel safer with AI making step-by-step plans, or do you feel plans using AI get in the way of your action?
  • Did you enjoy using AI to reach your goals but feel afraid to start implementing the steps of your plan?
  • Do you become frustrated when obstacles appear when using AI, or do you take action to tackle those obstacles and move forward?

Each physician needs to take a part of his expertise and help the public understand what really happens when the patient or their loved ones receive care and know “the other side” of relevant specialty. What one can anticipate and observe during surgery may vary from what is encountered in the hospitalist’s practice and differs yet again for a dermatologist.

When patients and caregivers see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital, they face restrictions of deep understanding behind the scenes about technology, AI tools, machines, and robotics applicable to each medical specialty or relevant diagnosis.

Physicians, providers, and health care staff are at the forefront of taking care of the patients but are not invited or involved in developing the AI tools that are practically needed.

One of the powerful frameworks we offer is to help you build your personal and professional responses and decision-making skills to react informally when faced with unexpected obstacles or challenges, including AI, called Organic Bravery™.

We describe the relevance of AI technology developers, investors, startups introducing a health care application or AI tool to a physician during the development of technology, in the prediction phase specifically, before training AI models.

The future of health care isn’t man versus AI tools; it’s man and AI together in a symphony of healing.

Liudmila Schafer is a hematology-oncology physician and editor of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: A Compilation of Stories from Doctors Across Multiple Disciplines on AI Breakthroughs, Challenges, and Potentials in the Healthcare System.

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