AMA updates advocacy aims for AI in healthcare

The American Medical Association is pushing for policies around AI in healthcare that don’t penalize physicians who avoid the technology while it’s still in a state of flux on so many fronts, from regulatory oversight to clinical usefulness.

At the same time, the group is opposing mandates aimed at requiring the use of healthcare AI as a condition of licensure, participation, payment or coverage.

These were among the updated AI advocacy positions the AMA announced at its annual meeting in Chicago June 12.

“Medical experts are working to determine the clinical applications of AI—work that will guide healthcare in the future,” said Gerald Harmon, MD, former chair of the AMA’s board of trustees. “These experts, along with physicians, state and federal officials, must find the path that ends with better outcomes for patients. We have to make sure the technology does not get ahead of our humanity and creativity as physicians.”

In its official communications, the group uses AI to denote augmented rather than artificial intelligence, noting on its website that the former term “focuses on AI’s assistive role, emphasizing that its design enhances human intelligence rather than replaces it.”

The updated policy prescriptions build on the AMA’s initial recommendations for AI from their annual meeting of 2018.

Click to read the rest of the items on the AMA’s 2019 advocacy to-do list: