At the 2023 Evidence Matters MedTech Roundtable, Dr. Matthew M. Cooper, Vice-President, Medical Affairs, Corporate Health & Safety at 3M Health Care, Chris Manrodt, Head of Data Strategy – IGTD at Philips, Dr. Matthias Fink, Senior Clinical Consultant at AKRA Team GmbH joined Mark Priatel, VP of Software Development at DistillerSR in a discussion about how AI is impacting healthcare innovation.
Q: The medical community has been one of the earliest adopters of AI, especially in image recognition and augmenting decision making. Would you say that the limits of AI application are just in these “human in the loop” scenarios, Chris?
A: The medical community’s adoption of AI, particularly in image recognition and decision-making augmentation, exemplifies the human-in-the-loop approach, where humans evaluate AI-generated decisions. However, this is not the limit of AI’s potential. Innovations in medical AI are amplified by machine capabilities in ideation, but human expertise remains crucial for refining and implementing these ideas. AI’s potential extends beyond just assisting humans in decision-making. Automation is increasingly embraced in medicine, not just in diagnostic tools but also in streamlining processes. The aim is to blend AI’s capabilities with human expertise, focusing on areas where AI can handle large data sets or repetitive tasks, freeing up medical professionals for more complex duties.
Q: Will the medical community embrace full automation? Let’s start with Dr. Cooper.
A: The medical community has been an early adopter of AI, especially in image recognition and decision-making augmentation. However, we’re still keeping humans in the loop due to the lack of sufficient data for complete automation.
Q: What’s your perspective, Chris?
A: We face significant challenges in creating data warehouses. While technological innovation is essential, we need to be insightful about future data needs and management.
Q: Dr. Fink, how do regulations like GDPR and HIPAA affect AI adoption in healthcare?
A: Regulations like GDPR, while important for data privacy, have unintended consequences on healthcare research. They increase paperwork and compliance costs, affecting the pace of medtech research and innovation.
Q: Anything to add, Chris?
A: In the US, HIPAA regulations also hinder information transfer, not just in research but in patient care as well. The need for detailed consent forms adds to the bureaucratic burden in healthcare.
Q: Dr. Cooper, how does Generative AI fit into the future of healthcare?
A: Generative AI holds immense potential in healthcare for tasks like accelerating research, creating synthetic data for training models, and aiding in diagnostics. However, it also raises concerns about data validity, regulatory compliance, and ethical implications. The future of generative AI in healthcare depends on careful development, regulation, and societal acceptance, ensuring it aligns with the best medical practices and patient care standards.
Q: Dr. Fink, what is your perspective?
A: While generative AI offers powerful tools, we must balance its use with ethical considerations and understand its underlying mechanisms to ensure its reliability and safety.
Q: Chris, anything to add from a data management point of view?
A: Generative AI’s role in creating synthetic data for training models is promising, especially in situations where human data is scarce. This approach can lead to safer and more efficient model training.
Q: Dr. Cooper, looking at the future, how do you all see the evolution of AI in healthcare by 2050?
A: By 2050, we may see AI seamlessly integrated into everyday life, much like the internet today. Its applications could be widespread, from autonomous driving to robotic surgery, significantly impacting healthcare delivery.
Q: What are your thoughts, Chris?
A: The societal and ethical implications of AI will be crucial. Balancing technological advancements with human values and addressing the skewed distribution of healthcare expenses will be key challenges.
Q: Dr. Fink, anything to add?
A: The future could see a world where AI is a normal part of life, especially for younger generations growing up with this technology. It could lead to major changes in how we approach health and medicine.