There is still much work to be done before artificial intelligence reaches its full potential in healthcare, but high-tech initiatives have already begun to boost hospital and health system efficiency and improve patient outcomes.
Here are five key quotes from physicians and researchers about AI’s transformative potential in healthcare — and the major obstacles keeping the medical field from achieving that potential.
1. “For AI to add the most value and for patients and physicians to embrace it, it needs to support, not supplant, the patient-physician relationship … AI will be most effective when it enhances physicians’ ability to focus their full attention on the patient by shifting the physicians’ responsibilities away from transactional tasks toward personalized care that lies at the heart of human healing.” — Steven Lin , MD, a clinical assistant professor of medicine and vice chief for technology innovation in Stanford University’s division of primary care and population health
2. “Learning from the past, if we can just meter our excitement and allow for this technology to be developed at a reasonable pace, with realistic goals, it’s possible that we could reach some of the heights we’d always hoped. We need to realize, once again, that nothing in medicine ever comes easy, and all of the intelligence in the world, artificial or not, won’t change that.” — Jason Moore , PhD, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Biomedical Informatics at the Perelman School of Medicine
3. “AI is only as good as the humans programming it and the system in which it operates. If we are not careful, AI could not make healthcare better, but instead unintentionally exacerbate many of the worst aspects of our current healthcare system.” — Bob Kocher , MD, adjunct professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Zeke Emanuel, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania
4. “By augmenting human performance, AI has the potential to markedly improve productivity, efficiency, workflow, accuracy and speed, both for [physicians] and for patients … What I’m most excited about is using the future to bring back the past: to restore the care in healthcare.” — Eric Topol , MD, director and founder of Scripps Research Translational Institute
5. “[AI] may well make care more efficient, more accurate and — if properly deployed — more equitable. But realizing this promise requires being aware of the potential for bias and guarding against it. It means regularly monitoring both the output of algorithms and the downstream consequences … Most fundamentally, it means recognizing that humans, not machines, are still responsible for caring for patients. It is our duty to ensure that we’re using AI as another tool at our disposal — not the other way around.” — Dhruv Khullar , MD, a physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
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