The Promise and Peril of AI in Healthcare

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to identify outbreaks such as the coronavirus, which, to date, has resulted in nearly 1,800 reported deaths and more than reported 71,000 infections. In a February 13 webinar, Casey Ross, national technology correspondent for STAT, pointed to efforts by John Brownstein, PhD, chief innovation officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, to use machine learning to review social media posts, reports by physicians, news outlets, and information released by official public health entities to assess the condition’s outbreak beyond China’s borders.  Brownstein’s work is proof that AI is showing its value in tracking the outbreak of the disease, says Ross. Closer to home, healthcare systems around the country use AI to inform operational tasks such as scheduling. Some healthcare organizations use AI to pinpoint patients who need additional care, says Ross. For example, it’s used in sepsis detection and prediction, the assessment of readmission risk, and the identification of patients who are deteriorating.

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