OMAHA, Nebraska. Every year, personal injury lawyers handle a range of cases where doctors make medical errors. Sometimes these errors occur because a doctor is overworked, fatigued, or just makes a bad judgement call. But what happens when a doctor makes a medical decision based on artificial intelligence or big data and a patient gets hurt?
According to Wired, more doctors than ever are using big data tools to help them make decisions in tough medical cases. Even in everyday cases, doctors may be referring to data tools to help them better understand decisions being made in the medical community. In the past, a doctor might have called up another physician or done some after-hours research. Today, doctors can log onto data repositories that offer them advice on treatment and pharmaceutical possibilities. Some of the websites use artificial intelligence similar to the programs used to help big companies understand our browsing preferences. A doctor can plug in a patient’s age, allergies, and medical history and get results.
While artificial intelligence is not meant to replace a doctor’s good judgement, doctors may become more reliant on the judgements made by these programs. And, just like your prior preferences can lead to boring movie results on Netflix (that recommend the same five penguin documentaries), so can AI programs end up offering a narrower set of treatment possibilities, potentially steering doctors away from creative solutions or solutions that don’t involve pharmaceuticals. After all, if the pharmaceutical industry has a stake in doctors’ making prescriptions, could these companies influence the results doctors see? Wired reports that the results doctors see are based on popular choices other doctors are making. If doctors are being influenced to prescribe, say, opioids, could the AI potentially lead many other doctors astray?
Currently medical systems aren’t considered medical devices by the Food and Drug Administration. But, if these systems become more readily used to make diagnostic decisions, the Food and Drug Administration may crack down.
Not a great deal of research has been done on AI and its impacts. According to QZ, that may change. Researchers for Microsoft and Google, spearheaded by an advisory board that includes members of the NAACP and state Supreme Court justices, will research some of the impacts that artificial intelligence could have on our lives. The research will be performed at NYU where healthcare decision-making and artificial intelligence will be studied.
Doctors are cautious when they use AI programs. Ultimately, it is the doctor who is making the medical decision. Yet, as more things in the world become automated, new areas of personal injury law may soon develop. Rensch & Rensch Law are accident lawyers in Omaha, Nebraska who work with families and victims who have suffered an injury due to the neglect or negligence of another person or party. If you or a loved one has been hurt due to a doctor’s medical decision or due to another person’s actions behind the wheel, visit us today at https://www.renschandrensch.com.