A New Frontier of Risk in Healthcare: Artificial Intelligence

Alie Fordyce

Alie is a Growth Associate at Robust Intelligence.

Alie Fordyce

Alie is a Growth Associate at Robust Intelligence.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed nearly every industry and business sector around the world. Within healthcare, AI and ML technologies are poised to drive improvements across the care continuum, and will invariably affect the future of work.

As payment structures evolve, the demand for care increases, and the volume of available data continues to rise, AI and ML technologies offer a number of advantages over traditional clinical analytics and decision-making techniques. Learning algorithms become more precise as they parse through large amounts of data, allowing practitioners and providers to gain better insights into the processes of care, diagnostics, treatment variability, and patient outcomes.  

Within the healthcare space, AI has cropped up in everything from AI-assisted robotic surgery, virtual hospital assistants, online symptom checkers and e-triage AI tools, and algorithms to automate routine tasks and manage patients and medical resources.

These technologies have the potential to transform many aspects of healthcare administrative processes and patient care. Perhaps more than any other technological development, AI has the power to increase the productivity and efficiency of care delivery, and to allow healthcare systems to provide more and better care.

However, while AI offers a number of possible benefits, there are also a number of risks - including unethical collection and use of health data, biases encoded in algorithms, and issues surrounding cybersecurity and patient safety. 

Privacy is an especially serious concern in relation to AI and healthcare. For example, if patient data used in records were to be abused, mishandled, or hacked, then the security of the patient - and the entire healthcare system - would be compromised. This is one place especially where Robust Intelligence can help.

RI’s Solution to AI Risks in Healthcare 

Currently, one of the major barriers to full adoption of AI technologies in the healthcare space is the need to strengthen data quality, governance, security, and interoperability. Healthcare providers and pharmaceutical industries must ensure that health data and patient records are fully protected, especially when AI is being used. 

Although both healthcare organizations and health systems have evolved to protect sensitive with sensitive data through risk-management and data governance processes, AI adds another level of complexity to the equation.

Healthcare practitioners want to understand how AI and ML works, how their underlying health data is being funneled through the pipeline, and what biases might be embedded in the AI/ML algorithms. They are interested in going past the concept of AI as a “black box,” to understand more fundamentally how AI works and can help make positive changes across the care continuum.

RIME represents a solution for improving healthcare data security and governance - and, ultimately, could have a larger impact on the adoption of AI technologies within the healthcare industry.

Most recently, RI has partnered with healthcare companies focused on improving their uses of AI-powered systems. Our engineers work closely with companies’ AI/ML teams to look for issues related to data drift, broken pipelines, and corrupted algorithms, providing an intervention against both silent error and adversarial intent.

Especially given the highly-sensitive nature of health data, RIME represents a crucial defense against AI failures, thus potentially improving the efficiency and productivity of care.

Robust Intelligence and the Use of AI in Healthcare Space Moving Forward

Ultimately, artificial intelligence has the potential to make healthcare more affordable, improve success rates, make clinical trials more efficient, and generally improve quality of life - yet, alongside this potential, there is equally consequential risk.

Given the life or death stakes of the healthcare industry, it’s essential that extra steps are taken to secure model pipelines and be aware of errors in the system caused by erroneous or anomalous data. 

At Robust Intelligence, we envision a future where AI can act as the key leverage point for improving healthcare ease, access, and operability into the future.

RIME has the capacity to help healthcare systems safely and seamlessly integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning into their existing software platforms, while protecting data sets across the AI/ML lifecycle from some of the risks of deployment and preventing AI/ML failure. 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are reshaping industries globally - and Robust Intelligence is at the forefront of ensuring that the world continues to adopt and benefit from these technologies, ideas, and innovations in a safe and secure way.

Alie Fordyce