Do We Need AI Guidelines for Healthcare?

Artificial Intelligence along with other new technologies is making a breakthrough in healthcare and medicine. After the development of some unique guidelines, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) are of certain that AI is the most advanced and effective technology that can boost healthcare.

However, before the technology is widely acclaimed and accepted, some doubts are already being debated. prior to the adoption of these ethical standards, as expressed by RANZCR, the emerging use of AI in healthcare and medicine were being discussed worldwide.

The RANZCR Principle

RANZCR’s Ethical Principles for AI in Medicine is a draft that outlines some of the most appropriate uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), including ways to deliver better and more efficient patient care.

The President of RANZCR, Lance Lawler, MB, ChB, was quoted saying, “New technologies such as AI are having a huge impact on healthcare, with enormous implications for both health professionals and patients. They have the ability to help doctors work in a more time-efficient and effective manner, and, ultimately, provide even greater treatment for patients.”

Lawler also added, “There are millions of scans such as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and ultrasound performed in Australia each year, underlining the critical role imaging plays in healthcare. How radiology adapts to AI will have flow-on effects for patients and other healthcare professionals, which is why it was important for RANZCR to develop these principles.”

In the draft, the organization outlines eight ethical principles for the deployment of machine learning systems and AI tools, emphasizing on radiation oncology and clinical radiology.

8 Ethical Principles 

  • Safety: Safety is the first and primary concern. Patient safety is the fundamental element to consider before developing, deploying, or using AI tools or machine learning systems.
  • No Bias:In order to avoid biases, systems must be trained to handle a wide range of bulk data representing target patient populace.
  • Transparency:AI system developers should consider designs to allow physicians to understand the decisions made with clear explanation.
  • Data Privacy:It is critical to ensure that data used for the purpose of AI research is de-identified to protect the privacy of patients. It must be ensured that a patient’s identity cannot be reconstructed in anyways.
  • Diagnostic and Treatment Decisions:AI systems should only be used for enhancing the decision-making process for treatments and diagnosis. It should, however, allow doctors to have the final say and prescribe medication and care.
  • Decision-making Liability:Healthcare organizations must provide genuine information related to shared liability while researching AI tools and implementing the same.
  • Human Values Applicability: Physicians should also apply humanitarian values, as and when required, to the AI tools used.
  • Governance: Healthcare organizations and hospitals using the latest AI technology should be accountable to the government committees to oversee the use of these tools and compliance with the overall ethical standards.

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