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Is the AI-patient interaction ethical?

Ethics experts about the use of artificial intelligence by patients.
Do you think the use of AI by patients is ethical?
ELS MAECKELBERGHE: Well, it isn’t only about patients using them, but the average citizen, everybody who’s concerned about their health. It can be used in a good way. However, I want to add to that that, again, we have to look at those two core principles. It needs to be reliable and we need to have trustworthy people who can explain what’s going on. The concern about data privacy, for instance, is a big concern with the commercial activity trackers, for instance. The other concern is, when you get the information, do you know what to do with it? So that’s where, I think, that people, health professionals, will always come in.
PHILIPP KELLMEYER: I think we need to differentiate between data collection, on the one hand. So how can we empower patients to help in managing their own disease. For example, by collecting data about themselves with devices. And the way that these data are then managed and interpreted. And this, I think, in that case, it’s really important to have health care professionals, medical professionals, and experts on the other end, on the end of data analysis and interpretation. So a human in the loop approach in which an AI system can be part of the picture, in that it provides, maybe, a deeper analysis of this data.
But the data and the analysis needs to be interpreted and put into context by a health care professional and a medical expert. And so I would say, an AI system can be part of this partnership between patient and doctor, but it should not be the decisive factor. But there should always be human and medical expert in the loop that makes the final decision.

We also asked ethics experts to comment on the use of AI by patients directly. Do they think this interaction can be considered ethical?

Both ethics experts seem to be concerned with the data privacy aspect and the fact that patients might need healthcare professions to help them with the interpretation of the data.

Do you think we can take sufficient measures to deal with these concerns? Would the interaction then be considered ethical, or are there other aspects that they have not taken into account yet? Discuss with your fellow learners.

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