Who Is JASON and Why Does He Care About Healthcare?

(Spoiler alert: It’s a 69-page report that indicates the use of AI in healthcare is both promising and doable.)

Who: JASON is an independent group of advisors to the U.S. government that recently completed a report that examines how AI will shape the future of public health, community health and healthcare delivery. The report was requested by ONC and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundati on (RWJF).

What: The report focuses on the technical capabilities, limitations and applications of AI that can be realized over the next decade, detailing how computer-based decision procedures, within the umbrella of AI, can assist in improving health and healthcare.

Why: The rapid digitization of health data via heath IT in the U.S. has created major opportunities in the use of AI. The experts define three forces that determine why the time may be ripe for AI: 

  • Frustration with the existing—or legacy—medical systems among patients and health professionals
  • Ubiquity of networked smart devices in society
  • Comfort with at-home services like those provided through Amazon and other technology companies

Why it matters: The increased availability of high quality and reliable digital data can facilitate the use of AI in clinical practice but the issues of data accessibility, privacy and security must be addressed.

What’s next: ONC and AHRQ are working closely with the National Institutes for Health and Food and Drug Administration to define and identify opportunities for the use of AI in their efforts to improve biomedical research, medical care and outcomes, including the advent of precision medicine.