In the wake of certain medical practitioners using AI model ChatGPT to write patient notes, Australia’s Medical Association (AMA) is pushing for robust rules and transparency in AI’s healthcare applications. The call comes as Australia attempts to bridge its regulatory gap with other advanced nations in the AI arena, aiming to protect patients and healthcare professionals while fostering trust.
AMA advocates for stringent AI regulations
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) is advocating for stricter regulations and transparency around the use of AI in the healthcare sector. The AMA's communique to the federal government on AI's safe and responsible use indicates Australia’s regulatory shortfall compared to other advanced countries. AMA insists on the need for strong rules to safeguard patients and medical professionals and to foster trust in AI's healthcare applications.
ChatGPT discontinued for creating patient records
Five hospitals under the South Metropolitan Health Service in Perth were advised to refrain from using ChatGPT to compile patient medical records. The caution came after it was discovered that some staff members had been utilizing this advanced AI model for such tasks. The health service's CEO, Paul Forden, stated in an email to staff that such practices must cease due to the lack of assurances regarding patient confidentiality.
AMA proposes safeguards for AI use
The AMA has put forth proposals for ensuring AI usage does not compromise patient safety. These protections include the need for clinicians to make the final decisions, the requirement for patients to give informed consent before any AI-led treatment or diagnosis, and measures to protect patient data. The AMA also stresses the need for ethical oversight to prevent the system from exacerbating health inequalities.
The AMA believes that Australia could draw insights from international regulatory frameworks to shape its own policies. The association suggests considering the proposed EU's Artificial Intelligence Act, which categorizes risks associated with different AI technologies and establishes an oversight board. It also recommends looking at Canada's requirement for human intervention points in AI decision-making processes.
Dr Karen DeSalvo, Google’s chief health officer, believes that AI will ultimately enhance health outcomes. However, she emphasizes that the 'systems' need to be correct to achieve this. She discusses the need for models to be factually accurate, consistent, and ethical and warns of the need to work out many aspects to ensure this.