A Reflection on AI in Health Care

Guest post written by Dany Accilien, MD, MBA

In 2023, ApolloMD provided me the opportunity to attend the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference in Chicago, a melting pot of innovation in the health care sector. The conference featured numerous discussions about one common subject – Artificial Intelligence (AI) in health care.

From startups showcasing their AI-powered solutions to industry giants like Epic announcing the integration of AI chatbots such as ChatGPT, it was clear that we are on the brink of a health care revolution.

Dany Accilien, MD, MBA

AI in Diagnostics

Potentially the most significant aspect of this revolution is the transformative potential of AI in diagnostics. Predictive AI, a rapidly evolving field, holds the promise of leveraging vast amounts of data to predict medical diagnoses with unprecedented accuracy. This paradigm shift could redefine our fundamental understanding and approach to clinical decision making.

Traditionally, clinicians have relied on:

  • clinical experience and training
  • decision-making guidelines based on limited data and publications that rely on statistical measures such as sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios.

These approaches have served us well, but they operate within countless limitations. They rely on the clinician’s variable level of expertise, available data at the time of the decision, and static probability models. But predictive AI could reshape this framework, enhancing the human element of clinical decision making with powerful data-driven insights.

Imagine a future where your doctor doesn’t merely consider your current symptoms, examination, and medical history, but also takes into account a wealth of data from other pertinent sources: genetic information, lifestyle factors, environmental and local factors, racial disparities, and even data from patients with similar profiles.

This vast, intricate data web could then be analyzed by AI algorithms, offering personalized, accurate, and instantaneous diagnostic predictions.

Questions and Challenges

As captivating as this prospect is, it comes with challenges. The promise of AI in health care raises a host of questions about regulation, trust, and appropriate utilization.

  • How do we ensure the unbiased, equitable distribution of this technology?
  • How do we regulate AI to ensure it is safe, effective, and ethical?
  • How do we build trust in AI systems among both clinicians and patients?

These questions require careful thought and collaborative effort from all stakeholders, including health care providers, patients, engineers, insurers and policymakers. The conversations at HIMSS were just the beginning.

The road to integrating AI into health care is filled with obstacles. But the potential benefits – improved diagnostic accuracy, personalized care, and enhanced patient value – are too revolutionary to ignore.

It’s clear: AI is not just the future of health care; it is the present.

About the Author

Dany Acillien, MD, MBA is the newly appointed Chief Medical Officer for RelyMD, ApolloMD’s telehealth service. He also practices as an emergency medicine clinician and clinical faculty member at Wellstar Kennestone Regional Medical Center in Marietta, GA. As part of the Emergency Medicine Administrative Fellowship he completed in 2023, Dr. Acillien gained his executive master’s in business administration (MBA) at Emory University Goizueta Business School.
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