Although artificial intelligence has long been used in the field of biomedical and clinical research, it has not been used to any great extent in the clinical care of patients. In this project, we have attempted to examine relevant privacy considerations and risks arising from the use of AI in the provision of patient care.
We have focused on AI used for clinical decision support and take the view that fully autonomous AI systems, without human intervention, would require further study.
One of our main conclusions is that AI used for decision support in a clinical setting does not, in this case, differ significantly from the current use of existing procedures or medical-technical equipment. However, the same quality requirements must be demanded of AI systems as of other procedures or medical-technical equipment. As long as the requirements for data protection, information, consent, access to one's own health data and right of co-determination in one's own treatment are met, new clinical tools based on AI and that adequately protect the patient's data, may be introduced. Such tools may be algorithms implemented via third-party solutions or by means of the hospital's own resources.
The use of AI in the health service has considerable potential, and this project has illuminated only a single application in which AI may be of benefit. Use of AI can be beneficial for clinical decision-support, resource planning, reporting or preventing unwanted incidents. AI-based systems may be more or less invisible algorithms that monitor the hospital’s operation, giving healthcare personnel or various units access to information that is of interest as and when they need it, and that can be used actively for the provision of better patient care. AI's ability to provide decision-support and structure complex data variables may help to further improve health services, and potentially reduce the pressure on staff.