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What Will Rise of AI Mean for Health Care?

New white paper looks at potential changes, risks stemming from AI and machine learning

February 13, 2023

The rise of artificial intelligence has the potential to spark industry-wide change across sectors.

A new white paper from the Healthcare and Public Health Sector Coordinating Council (HSCC) evaluates how health care could evolve with our move from a “paper-and-pen world to a digital environment.” The HSCC report notes that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) could lead to significant advances, but there are important security, regulatory, and ethical concerns to consider.

“AI/ML could impact every aspect of healthcare, from diagnosis, treatment decisions, predictive analysis, and even administrative functions such as coding and billing,” the report notes. “The promise of AI/ML, however, comes at a price.”

Among the key takeaways:

  • Definitions:  The report calls AI “a toolbox of diverse algorithms and strategies that mimic intelligence in order to solve problems.”
    • Machine learning is a subset of AI
  • Potential applications:  There are a host of direct and indirect potential uses in patient care, disaster planning, and testing processes, as well as in cybersecurity to “to help identify potential insider threats or to better detect suspicious lateral movements within a healthcare network,” the report notes.
  • Risk areas:  The report lists nine potential areas of concern for health care leaders to consider, including data privacy and security, ethical and operational questions, transparency, regulatory, and cybersecurity oversight.
  • Quotable:  “It is important for all involved in health care technology, including individual providers and administrative and clinical leaders in large health care systems to understand the background cyber risks of AI/ML so they are prepared to utilize these advances in the safest way for our communities,” the report notes.

The white paper is available to review online.

For more information about health care cybersecurity, contact Jason Tomashunas, MS, CHEP, HAP manager, emergency management.

Additionally, John Riggi, the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) national advisor for cybersecurity and risk, provides expertise and resources to AHA members about health care cybersecurity.