In collaboration with Dr. Jonathan Herington, the Society for Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging’s AI Task Force has revealed a set of recommendations to steer the ethical advancement and application of AI in the medical field.
As Artificial Intelligence takes the limelight in healthcare, promising enhanced diagnosis and treatment, the task force underlines the crucial role of preserving human oversight to avert potential harm and inequality.
With AI’s growing presence in medicine, transparency is key in ensuring ethical development and deployment.
Dr. Herington stresses the necessity for healthcare providers to grasp the intricacies of AI systems, and comprehend their intended use, performance, and limitations.
“Clinicians should use AI as an input into their own decision making, rather than replacing their decision making.”
Achieving this calls for proactive involvement from AI developers, providing precise information about their medical devices.
The task force recommends embedding alerts into AI systems to convey the uncertainty levels of predictions, akin to heat maps on cancer scans.
This approach strives to strike a balance between the potential advantages of AI and the imperative of averting health inequities.
Developers are also strongly urged to ensure that their AI models cater not only to well-resourced hospitals but are also effective in diverse settings.
Dr. Herington voices concern about sophisticated systems favouring privileged patients.
“A concern is that these high-tech, expensive systems would be deployed in really high-resource hospitals, and improve outcomes for relatively well-advantaged patients, while patients in under-resourced or rural hospitals wouldn’t have access to them—or would have access to systems that make their care worse because they weren’t designed for them,”
As the AI landscape undergoes swift evolution, Dr. Herington cautions that our window to establish an ethical and regulatory framework for AI in medicine is narrowing.
The responsibility is shared by developers and healthcare providers to maintain a balance between the potential benefits of AI and the ethical considerations of human involvement.
The question is whether we can navigate the integration of AI in medicine while ensuring equitable access and care for all.