Seizing the Promise and Managing the Risks of AI

Targeted Therapies in OncologyMarch I, 2024
Volume 13
Issue 3
Pages: 20

Health and Human Services leaders are “optimistic” about the future of artificial intelligence in medicine. However, they won’t trust without verifying.

Health and Human Services leaders are “optimistic” about the future of artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine. However, they won’t trust without verifying, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Micky Tripathi, PhD, MPP, said. Tripathi testified on December 13, 2023, at the “Leveraging Agency Expertise to Foster American AI Leadership and Innovation” hearing as part of the US House of Representatives’ House Committee on Energy & Commerce.1

“AI-based technologies have the potential to accelerate innovation, increase competition, help to ameliorate health inequities, reduce clinician burnout, and improve care and the care experience for patients,” Tripathi said in his statement. However, Tripathi also said that “we know that there are potential downsides,” so HHS leaders believe their posture on AI must be to trust but verify.

HHS is already overseeing research and drafting rules regarding AI in health care. The FDA has approved nearly 700 AI-enabled devices for use in the market. The National Institutes of Health, the Office for Civil Rights, and the CMS all have programs underway to study and regulate AI, Tripathi said. He also noted that the HHS published its final Health Data, Technology, and Interoperability: Certification Program Updates, Algorithm Transparency, and Information Sharing rule. The rule governs patient access, standards, algorithm transparency, and interoperability-focused reporting metrics for certified health information technology. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology certifies the electronic health records used by of hospitals and of physician offices.

“Electronic health records are a key enabler of AI in health care,” Tripathi said. “They are increasingly the source of data that feeds machine learning algorithms and where AI works behind the scenes and with user interfaces and workflows to influence data to this day-to-day decision-making that directly affects patient lives.” But health care providers are concerned about AI serving as a “black box on their system,” and that is hindering adoption of the new technologies; however, HHS leaders believe the new rule could spur adoption, Tripathi said.

“With transparency and risk management to instill public trust and confi dence, AI opens up vast opportunities to improve our country’s health care, public health, and social services capabilities to better serve the American people,” Tripathi said. “These objectives will enable to fully mobilize its components to seamlessly integrate with and meaningfully contribute to a whole-of-government-and-industry approach to improving quality, efficiency, trustworthiness, access, and outcomes in health and human services through the safe, ethical, and responsible use of AI [FIGURE],” he said.

1. HHS finalizes rule to advance health IT interoperability and algorithm transparency. News release. HHS. December 13, 2023. Accessed January 2, 2024. news/2023/12/13/hhs-finalizes-rule-to-advance-health-it-interoperability-and-algorithm-transparency.html
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