Navigating the AI Landscape in Healthcare: Ethics and Access

By Sumona Bose

December 11, 2023

The AI Challenge in Healthcare

The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into the healthcare sector is a complex endeavour. Life sciences consulting firms are grappling with significant challenges, particularly when it comes to embedding AI-enabled diagnostics into healthcare systems. These challenges are rooted in sociocultural, technological, and institutional subsystems. The medical community’s prevailing ethos, concerns about black-box decision-making, and fear of reputational harm are some of the factors contributing to resistance against AI.

The Response: Stealth Science, Agility, and Digital Ambidexterity

AI providers are responding to these challenges with three key practices: stealth science, agility, and digital ambidexterity. Stealth science involves maintaining opacity around development to safeguard trade secrets and evade regulatory scrutiny. Agility refers to the capacity to adapt to different technical settings and learn from various healthcare environments. Lastly, digital ambidexterity is the pursuit of efficiency and innovation in developing AI technologies.

However, these practices may lead to complexities in technology spread, regulatory challenges, and shifts in healthcare dynamics. It’s clear that the journey towards integrating AI into healthcare is filled with paradoxes, with AI providers having to tread a fine line between acceleration and inertia.

The Ethical Considerations

From policy makers, ethics in access to AI is an important factor to consider. AI providers need to ensure that their practices allow for more latitude in navigating healthcare systems, but this must be balanced against the need for transparency and accountability.

To ensure value-based healthcare, we must address these ethical dilemmas head-on and work towards finding workable solutions. AI consulting firms must work in tandem with healthcare providers and policy-makers to create human-centred solutions that respect the rights and needs of all stakeholders.

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