Health Tech

What Are the Best Practices for Implementing AI in Healthcare?

With AI being so new, there are some best practices for companies to follow when bringing it into healthcare. This includes partnerships and understanding the shortcomings of AI, several experts said during a session at the HIMSS 2023 conference.

Someday, Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be just as big as email, one healthcare executive predicted Wednesday at the HIMSS 2023 conference in Chicago.

“It’s like that day when I was a kid and I got that first AOL disk in the mail,” said Dr. Matthew Lungren, chief medical information officer of Nuance Communications. “I was like, ‘What’s this internet thing? … Maybe it will be a big deal someday.’ It feels a little bit like that.”

But with AI being so new, there are some best practices for companies to follow when bringing it into healthcare. Partnerships are one way to ensure companies are using AI correctly, Lungren said.

“Having partners that have that expertise is really important. … If you don’t have a domain expert as you’re working on a use case who can point out, ‘Hey, actually that’s not exactly right,’ it’s hard to pick some of those things out,” he stated.

It’s also important to recognize that the AI isn’t perfect, said another panelist.

“There are some weak spots. … There are ways to address those, but when you implement the technology, you should be aware of those limitations and be looking out for those,” said Dr. Carlo Bifulco, chief medical officer of Providence Genomics.

He added that when applying AI in healthcare, the models should be representative of the people the company serves, and companies should take bias into account.

Izhar Laufer, director of innovation at Leumit Health Services, said that organizations should be selective in when they choose to use AI, too. Laufer was also a panelist at the HIMSS session.

“You need to know how to show the insights in the right place at the right time. … If you want to start, you should choose something that has a really [big] impact,” Laufer said. “I don’t think you should choose minor things. Start with something that can make a big impact so your organization, your CEO can see the impact of this solution for them to go and expand to broader places.”

While there are some shortcomings to AI, it’s obvious that it will have a major effect on the future of healthcare, according to the panelists.

“This feels hard to ignore what’s happening,” Lungren of Nuance said.

Photo: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay