In so many ways, technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning are solving our biggest problems and helping to make our lives easier.
One of the most important industries in which AI is being used is healthcare. According to Partners Healthcare, AI is already finding its place in medical imaging, disease detection, health monitoring, office voice assistants and taking over expensive administrative functions.
Other healthcare companies hope to save people and companies time and money by creating healthcare chatbots that can help streamline the early stages of diagnosing a health concern.
One such company is Babylon Health, which according to Fast Company, says it can help save money on rising healthcare costs by using AI to filter patients so only those who truly need medical attention will get time in front of a doctor.
At the end, Babylon healthcare chatbots tell you what it thinks you’re suffering from and recommends next steps, like consulting a physician via web conferencing or going to a hospital.
Its symptom checker has been used more than 1.7 million times all around the world, but its rapid expansion is causing some healthcare experts to sound the alarm, Fast Company wrote.
Such speedy deployment has raised serious concerns among experts who say Babylon Health has rushed to market without adequate proof that its products work. So far, there are no peer-reviewed, randomized control studies—the gold standard for evidence in medical science—showing how the AI performs in the real world on real patients. Yet Babylon’s symptom checker is already affecting thousands of people daily—with the approval of government regulators in countries where it’s offered.
Fast Company noted that Babylon is starting to enlist the help of research universities to start randomized control studies in a clinical setting to evaluate the technology’s effectiveness at accurately diagnosing health issues.
However, that’s not before the company has touted its effectiveness and pushed back against its critics who’ve said the company was too quick to launch software that could have a huge bearing on the health of entire populations.
New medical devices and drugs go through extensive clinical trials and review periods by agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
We should encourage technologists to find more helpful ways to bring AI into healthcare, but this technology should be subject to the same stringent review process for every other healthcare product.