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AI in health care raises ethical questions

If you are like a lot of people in Maryland, you are aware of the continued impact that emerging technologies are having on our everyday lives. From in-home devices that can turn lights or radios on and off to autonomous vehicles and more, computers are involved in multiple aspects of daily living. When it comes to health care, advances like artificial intelligence and machine learning are today often used in systems that facilitate diagnosis and even treatment recommendations.

As reported by Forbes, the use of these technologies has raised some ethical questions, especially concerning the options for patients if and when a medical mistake may be linked to these systems. There is as of yet little to no regulation over what technologies can be used in health care and how they should be used. Such regulation is often spurred by legal precedence but there is little to none of that yet, either.

In the meantime, this leaves a lot of gray area. Last year, documents were leaked showing that one company’s software program inaccurately computed data and recommended cancer treatments that were not safe for patients. It is not known if any identifiable injuries resulted from this error but it does highlight a concern about how to ensure patient safety while leveraging new technologies.  

If you would like to learn more about how you can protect yourself and your family in the event that a technology solution may contribute to a medical error, please feel free to visit the health care mistakes and emerging technologies page of our Maryland medical malpractice website.