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Prevention of deskilling

Healthcare professionals and industry representatives talking about the way in which deskilling can be prevented.
Do you think AI could lead to deskilling of healthcare professionals? How would you prevent this?
MEREL HUISMAN: Yes, definitely. Because we doctors, we learn by doing, so training on the job. So if you use a tool to detect the diagnosis that you normally would need to examine the scan for, yes, then you aren’t trained anymore to learn that. So yes, definitely. This could potentially be bad because then you don’t recognise a mistake the algorithm makes. What we can do to prevent this is, for example, the first two years of residency don’t let the resident work with the AI tool. But really he or she needs to examine the scan on his or her own.
RAIVO KOLDE: So AI as currently implemented is really good at optimising routine and mundane tasks for people. And that’s why I’m not really worried about deskilling the healthcare professionals. Sure, they can become less skilled in some really boring tasks. But at the same time, they will probably have more time to make the really complex decisions about treating and diagnosing the people.
MARKO TOPALOVIC: No, I actually think it can lead to upskilling of the healthcare practitioners. It may mean that we have to remove the tedious and repetitive tasks in the practise. That elimination should be probably accepted by the healthcare professionals. But it will certainly lead to better decisions being made and therefore better patient outcomes.
ERIK RANSCHAERT: Yes, there is a risk of deskilling, especially when you have residents in training if they are confronted with the results of the algorithm before they even look at the images. Well, yes, it might be possible that they are becoming, let’s say, a bit lazy and don’t even look at the images themselves, just the result of the AI algorithm. And this is not only true for residents but also for trained radiologists or senior radiologists. So yes, we have to be aware of that. And this should certainly be something that needs to be communicated when implementing the AI solutions.
PASCAL DE HAAN: I think there will be some deskilling in special ways of some doctors or nurses as well. But it shouldn’t be any problem, because also the doctors or nurses can also specialise in other things in the health care. So, I think that it will be a good thing if that will happen.

In the previous article, you learned about deskilling and over-reliance. We asked healthcare professionals and industry representatives whether they think these two phenomena might occur and how they could be prevented. This first video shows the responses to the issue of deskilling.

Some experts seem to indicate that deskilling may indeed occur in the future, or is already happening at this moment. They provide some suggestions on how to prevent this. However, other experts also seem to indicate that these phenomena are not necessarily a bad thing, or that it might even lead to “upskilling” of the healthcare professions.

Which experts do you agree with? Do you think deskilling should be prevented? If so, would you use a method mentioned by one of the experts, or can you think of another way to prevent it? Share your thoughts in the discussion section.

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