American Medical Association Meeting
American Medical Association Meeting
June 14, 2019
2 min read

AMA: Augmented intelligence should be implemented in medical practice, training

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At the AMA annual meeting, the AMA House of Delegates voted to adopt two policies about the inclusion of augmented intelligence in both medical practice and training.

“Medical experts are working to determine the clinical applications of [augmented intelligence] — work that will guide health care in the future. These experts, along with physicians, state and federal officials must find the path that ends with better outcomes for patients,” Gerald E. Harmon, MD, former chair of the AMA Board of Trustees, said in a press release. “We have to make sure the technology does not get ahead of our humanity and creativity as physicians.”

To promote and ensure that sufficient oversight is in place for augmented intelligence (AI) in medical practice, that AMA added a policy to advocate for regulation of such technology based on risk of harm and benefits.

The policy also asks that payment and coverage for health care AI systems meet the standards of both federal and state laws and regulations regarding patient safety, efficacy, equity, privacy and security. According to the press release, the policy calls for AI systems to have payments and coverages that are based around human needs and real-world demand, allow physicians to prepare and transition into AI systems, support communication between patients, physicians and health care teams and can easily connect clinical, administrative and population health.

doctor at a computer
At the AMA annual meeting, the AMA House of Delegates voted to adopt two policies about the inclusion of augmented intelligence in both medical practice and training.
Source: Shutterstock

Other components of the AMA’s policy to adopt AI into medical practice include making AI systems affordable and accessible to small physicians and practices, not punishing physicians who choose not to use AI systems while regulations are still being developed, and liability after mandates for AI systems are developed.

In order to better prepare future health care providers for a future medical landscape that includes AI, the House of Delegates also approved policies to include AI in medical education and training, according to a separate press release.

The policy asks accrediting and licensing bodies to evaluate how to address AI in their regulations and individual institutions and programs to consider the best time to add AI to curriculum and what may need to be removed from the curriculum in order to accommodate AI training. According to the press release, the policy also encourages the study of how differences in AI training and available resource material could cause disparities in physician education and health care. 

“To realize the benefits for patient care, physicians must have the skills to work comfortably with augmented intelligence in health care,” S. Bobby Mukkamala, MD, an otolaryngologist and AMA Board Member, said the release. “Just as working effectively with electronic health records is now part of training for medical students and residents, educating physicians to work effectively with AI systems, or more narrowly, the AI algorithms that can inform clinical care decisions, will be critical to the future of AI in health care.”– by Erin Michael

Disclosures: Healio Primary Care was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.