Artificial intelligence (AI) is already transforming the health care
industry. But as with any new technology in health care, there is
a great deal of fear and mistrust around the use of AI. One
ethical risk gets significant attention: the potential for algorithms
to learn, automate, and scale institutionalized biases.
There is legitimate cause for concern. Bias already exists in
many internally built or commercially sold algorithms used to
make care decisions for millions of patients. Overlooking the
existence of bias leads to irresponsible applications of AI. But
avoiding AI altogether prevents us from realizing the benefits of
this technology. When applied rigorously and with health equity in
mind, AI can help us find and fix flaws in the current system.
Health care leaders must deliberately develop AI solutions
centered around health equity.