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  4.  → Physician practices take note: Should we worry about AI in medicine?

Physician practices take note: Should we worry about AI in medicine?

Healthcare professionals should note recent advances and the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the industry. With every new technical advance, there are benefits and risks. AI can certainly change how we provide healthcare by streamlining medical records and taking care of some of the mundane business and administrative tasks that come with running a practice.

What role is AI playing in healthcare?

Many different applications can do everything from remind patients of upcoming visits to help diagnose diseases. The question is how do we use this tech wisely?

The makers behind Hippocratic AI encourage a relatively slow transition, noting that they aim to “improve healthcare accessibility and health outcomes.” They explain this tech is not meant to help with diagnostics but instead work with a practice’s more patient facing needs. Examples include help with billing, benefits, medication reminders, patient questions about scheduled procedures, and prompt delivery of negative test results.

Can physicians and medical practices use AI?

You likely already are. Various forms of AI are already in use in healthcare. One example is dermatology. AI tools are used to detect and classify skin cancer.

Are there risks?

Absolutely. At the end of the day, you are responsible for your patient’s care. That means your medical license can be at risk if AI messes up. Take the skin cancer example above. There are two scenarios where a physician’s license could be at risk when using this form of AI.

  1. Flagged. A physician could face board scrutiny if they ignore a spot flagged by AI.
  2. Not flagged. A physician could also face scrutiny if they fail to take further action on a spot that was not flagged by AI but by the patient.

This is a reminder that AI can supplement, not replace, a medical professional’s work. As a result, it is important to take the time to review the use of AI in your practice and make sure that AI facilitates your work. If not, it is likely wise to adjust as needed to better ensure there is not overreliance on the use of AI within the practice.

Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication.