Imagine a technical tool that can predict what ails you. It peruses the charts and information a doctor creates as a part of the electronic health record, looking for anomalies as it goes. Then it makes predictions, hinting to all those who review it where the problems might lie.
With many health problems, time matters. Imagine catching something early enough it can be treated before you suffer even the earliest of warning signals. It can increase your chances of living a long, healthy life.
Google Brain is being created to do just that. But it might not be just Google that dominates that field; Amazon has recently announced it may be heading in the same direction. And it makes sense. Amazon already has sophisticated tools that predict your buying behavior and makes suggestions for what to order next. Why not convert that same technology into the healthcare marketplace?
Doctors and other medical specialists are limited by what they know. And the human brain isn’t the most comprehensive tool - go several nights without proper sleep, and a person can easily “forget” crucial information. Our minds are also limited; they can only hold so much data.
That doesn’t happen with AI. Artificial intelligence can evaluate records and compare them to every other datapoint in the system. It can look for discrepancies, and then turn around and look for them all over again, only in a completely different way.
It may sound like a work of science fiction; the medical industry isn’t quite there yet. The process is still a ways off into the future. But we’re getting closer. And as a medical professional, it’s important to consider the security risks long before you implement it into your own practice.
If AI does monitor EHRs, it’s important to think of the process as an intrusion into the system. What can go wrong?
AI is only as good as who created it. Humans write the code and build the technology, so you have to trust the human behind the project. Is the technology high quality? Does the entire process have controls in place?
AI is the latest and greatest technology; everyone is looking for ways to be the leader in the industry. And while it might be fun to play with the newest “toys,” it’s also important to remember security first. Being the leader isn’t as important as ensuring your data is safe.
Putting your data in the hands of unscrupulous technology can violate HIPAA laws. It can also give patients a false sense of security.
AI may be changing the future, but it’s important to go slow with every step. If you consistently ask “what am I trying to accomplish,” sometimes the answer may be more straightforward than you think.
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