The Rise of AI Doctors: Exploring the future of Healthcare

The landscape of healthcare is undergoing a revolutionary transformation: The rise of AI doctors. And yes, I am referring to the rather stereotypical sci-fi image of a robot doctor wearing a white coat with a stethoscope around its neck! But the term  ‘AI doctor’, has a much more intricate meaning than that. It encompasses a lot, beyond the robot walking the halls of a hospital, it is a digital physician, driven by artificial intelligence (AI).  They are reshaping the way we diagnose, treat, and interact with medical professionals. In this exciting new era, it’s not just the science that takes center stage; the legal implications of automated healthcare become equally intriguing.

Understanding the use of AI in Diagnostics

Imagine a world where diseases are identified swiftly and accurately, paving the way for efficient and effective treatments. Well, you won’t need to be imagining for long. AI is making this vision a reality by revolutionizing medical diagnostics. Through advanced imaging and data analysis, AI doctors are becoming skilled at detecting diseases, hence expediting diagnostics. What’s more, is that apart from accurately identifying diseases in a patient, AI is capable of immediately putting it in the context of their entire medical history!

AI enhances Patient-Centric Care

In this journey for improved healthcare, AI is not just a silent partner in the background but actually plays an active role in patient-centric care. Of course, AI still has an important role to play in the backdrop of medicine, for example in Drug discovery.  In the process of creating new drugs, AI enabled us to accelerate the work with big data. Making it a key tool in predicting the effectiveness of potential drugs. But, AI’s active role, empowers patients to take charge of their health, Virtual health assistants and remote monitoring are AI-driven solutions to improve patient health without the need for a human physician.

Another major step in how AI improves Patient care is in the decisiveness, and accuracy of its decisions. Let me explain: Every doctor, like any other specialist, is susceptible to doubt around the area of ‘What would be the best treatment plan for my patient?’ This leads to disagreements among physicians about diagnosis, choice of treatment etc. This is where AI comes in, it is able to take the most appropriate course of action without hesitation, by relying on the algorithms programmed into them from large databases. In fact, “the application of machine learning algorithms to large sets of patient data can make the work of medical AI more objective compared to human physicians.”

This shift in the doctor-patient dynamic brings forth legal considerations, concerning liability: Who’s at fault if something goes wrong? In addition, feeding patient data to the AI models raises legal concerns about data ownership and privacy. Much brainstorming is yet to be done, but it appears the European Association for Artificial Intelligence has run out of ideas in their latest session, where they proposed to give AI robots the status of electronic persons, this would mean that they would be held accountable for any errors in judgment or procedure…

AI in Developing Nations: Bridging Healthcare Gaps

While the positive impact of AI in healthcare is global, its role in developing nations is particularly important. The integration of AI has the potential to address challenges related to resource limitations, and accessibility issues. As I mentioned earlier, AI virtual assistants and remote monitoring have the potential to make up for these issues, bridging the gap between patients and the needed medical attention. AI diagnostic tools can extend the reach of healthcare services to remote areas, provided digital education is on par and can improve healthcare outcomes.

The Future of Healthcare

The combination of AI and medicine is redefining healthcare. From increasing accuracy in diagnostics to revolutionising treatment strategies, AI is at the forefront of this change. It’s crucial to recognize that AI can be a powerful tool for enhancing medical capabilities, but it is up to us to create a strong legal framework that ensures it remains a tool and does not become a threat, to our privacy, integrity, and safety. The journey ahead involves exploration into ethical considerations, and collaborative efforts to ensure AI’s responsible integration into healthcare. The rise of AI doctors is not just a technological advancement; it’s a paradigm shift in the entire healthcare ecosystem. While concerns related to AI and dystopian scenarios are common, it’s important to remember that humans are the architects of this ‘artificial intelligence.’ Therefore, ensuring its safety rests on our shoulders.

-Sanjana Mudigere Satish

Feyzrakhmanova. D.R., Laptev. D.A., Ershova.I.V., “Medical applications of artificial intelligence (legal aspects and future prospects).” Laws, vol. 11, no. 1, 2021, p. 3,

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