Appeals Court Decision on HIPAA and AI Research Raises Multiple Questions: Attorneys

A federal appeals court ruling in favor of the University of Chicago and tech giant Google in a case involving artificial intelligence (AI)-powered research would, at first glance, look like it provided a green light for providers to collaborate with technology companies on such research; however, it also raises numerous questions about the use of limited data sets and anonymized data by AI, two attorneys explained.

In the case, Dinerstein v. Google, the appeals court in July granted a motion to dismiss from the defendants, ruling that the plaintiff did not have standing.[1] But in doing so, the appeals court left unresolved various issues, said Beth Pitman, partner in Holland & Knight’s Healthcare Regulatory and Enforcement Practice Group.

“The court says it appears to be a win for privacy compliance officers, but we really caution against thinking that this creates an open highway with no red light for the disclosure of an EHR [electronic health record] or access to an EHR record for AI development,” Pitman explained in an Oct. 5 podcast.[2]

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