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Gibson D. Lewis Library Libguides

Artificial Intelligence and Healthcare

What is Artificial Intelligence? 

"Artificial Intelligence (AI) [can broadly be defined] as technology designed to mimic human cognitive functions-- including techniques such as classic machine learning, modern deep learning, natural language processing, and robotics" (Lin et al., 2023). AI is already widely used across industries, whether we realize it or not. It's used to recommend similar shows on streaming services, in face recognition technologies on social media platforms, and as conversational agents.

Popular apps that many individuals associate with AI are generative AI models like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Llama 2. "Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) models have revolutionized the field of natural language processing (NLP) with their ability to understand, generate, and interact in human-like language... Trained on diverse internet texts, it can generate coherent, contextually relevant responses and accomplish specific language tasks, making it a powerful tool with potential applications in medical research" (Arshad et al., 2023). 

As AI becomes more integrated into healthcare processes, it will be important to learn more about how AI works and its impact on patient health and safety. Learn more about AI and Health Information Behaviors and find resources to continue your education.

Why Should I Know About AI in Healthcare?

AI in healthcare already exists and is being used every day! By expanding your knowledge on the impacts of AI on the doctor-patient relationship, you will better be able to navigate clinical encounters in a way that is beneficial for you, as the healthcare provider, and also for the patient to receive the highest level of care possible. The benefits of AI in healthcare are expansive, and AI is already used in every part of primary care. In the image below, you see how:

  • AI contributes to clinical decision making by providing automated evidence-based content and advisories.
  • There are AI applications that have diagnostic abilities and are able to make suggestions for care.
  • AI driven digital scribes can automate clinical note generation by listening in to patient-doctor conversations and improving chart review and documentation procedures.
  • Practitioners could use AI to automate tedious, administrative tasks related to practice management.
  • AI could be used directly by patients who are seeking medical advice.
  • Primary care physicians could lean on AI tools to request risk adjusted paneling, depending on the clinical situation.
  • There are AI tools that act as digital health coaches to mitigate the risks that chronic conditions pose for patients.
  • Industry players are exploring the ways AI technologies will improve care gaps via their platforms in order to effective manage population health.

(Lin et al., 2023)

“The ideal implementation of advanced analytics and AI technologies should democratize health care and actively address problems that are relevant to the health needs of socially marginalized populations who face structural racism and discrimination in access to care…" (Clark et al., 2021). As a healthcare provider, it is important to consider how AI technologies will improve/hinder the achievement of goals listed out in the Quintuple Aim as posed by Nandy et al. (2022): 

  1. Improving population health
  2. Enhancing the care experience
  3. Reducing costs
  4. Addressing clinician burnout
  5. Advancing health equity