John Sterling Editor in Chief Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
Goal Is to Improve Patient Access to Quality Care
A new organization promoting the use of artificial intelligence and related technologies in healthcare wants to move patient access to quality care into the 21st century.
The Partnership for Artificial Intelligence and Automation in Healthcare (PATH) brings together health systems, industry, payers, and regulators to find how such technology can improve the delivery of medicine, reduce costs, and expand access to healthcare services to millions of people across the globe.
The membership-based group is taking a unique, inclusive approach by bringing together all stakeholders to resolve such issues as public policy oversight, personal safety and how to integrate such revolutionary advances into healthcare systems, according to Jonathan Linkous, a co-founder and CEO of the group.
“AI and related innovations have already enabled industries such as banking, aviation, and entertainment to grow, provide higher-quality products, and allow consumers greater choice” says Linkous. “With spiraling costs, increasing need, decreasing resources, and rapidly advancing technologies, healthcare desperately needs to catch up.”
One big problem facing healthcare, as compared to other industries, is its reluctance to embrace new technologies, he points out.
“Healthcare as a whole is a very late adopter of technology,” Linkous explains. “For example, it’s taken 24 years for telemedicine to get to the point where we are today.”
There is also some fear revolving around the use of AI in healthcare and medicine.
“There are concerns about privacy, job safety, fear of the unknown, and allowing AI to take on complicated decision-making normally left to physicians and healthcare providers,” says Linkous. “Addressing and alleviating these concerns is a major reason for developing PATH. Our focus will be on the application of AI, automation, and robotics, which is already being used in surgery, to healthcare delivery.”
AI can be used in making day-to-day diagnostic decisions, examining more precisely the huge array of patient data and vital signs, and in helping physicians and other providers make important decisions, adds Linkous. “The results will be a greater quality of care due to better healthcare outcomes; lower health care costs because medical interventions will be quicker, efficient, and more effective; and greatly improved access to healthcare around the world where such access is currently unimaginable.”
Linkous was the founding CEO of the American Telemedicine Association and led the development of the technology from concept to reality, making telemedicine a well-known and accepted technology, improving outcomes, creating a growing market, and overcoming barriers.
Mary Ann Liebert, PATH's co-founder, is the president and CEO of Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The company, GEN’s parent firm, publishes scientific and medical books, journals, and digital information in fields such as telemedicine, health transformation, Big Data, and CRISPR.
“I am excited about the formation of PATH and look forward to combining forces to help bring these lifesaving technologies to patients in need,” says Liebert.