Artificial intelligence could change a visit to the doctor’s office.
Imagine walking into an exam room. A nurse takes your weight, blood pressure and the rest of your vital signs and feeds them into an artificial intelligence system that already has your blood test results, scans and your entire health history along with the health records of tens of thousands of other patients.
Your doctor comes in and sits at the computer. The screen displays a diagnosis along with a treatment plan, all delivered by an AI algorithm in the time it took you to roll down your sleeve.
If that sounds farfetched, keep in mind that AI is already being used to help clinicians diagnose breast cancer, read X-rays and detect which patients are most likely to develop diabetes.
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But along with the excitement around the potential of AI to dramatically improve health care come concerns. Will AI replace essential human interactions with providers? Will it perpetuate racial biases baked into medical decisions? Could AI algorithms be used to deny health insurance coverage?
MPR News guest host Chris Farrell talks with two physicians who develop AI models about the promise of the powerful tool and ways to address concerns around its use.
Dr. Christopher Tignanelli is a trauma and critical care surgeon at M Health Fairview and an associate professor and scientific director of the Program for Clinical AI at the University of Minnesota Medical School. His research focuses on ways that artificial intelligence can be used to improve health worker decisions in the emergency room and other health settings.
Dr. Senan Ebrahim is a physician-scientist and entrepreneur in health technology. He’s CEO of Delfina in Rochester, Minn., a company he co-founded in 2021 that uses artificial intelligence to support healthier pregnancies and address racial disparities in maternal health. He previously founded Hikma Health, a tech nonprofit that provides a mobile health records system for refugees, migrants and other vulnerable populations.
Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.