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Health Care's Adoption of AI May Bring Privacy, Security Risks

As the technologies underpinning artificial intelligence (AI) applications advance, the tremendous potential to use analysis of patient data to increase the efficacy of covered entities (CEs) and business associates (BAs) brings privacy and security considerations under HIPAA, experts warn.

There is a lot of media hype surrounding the time- and cost-saving benefits of AI and machine learning, ranging from the automation of routine tasks to cars that drive themselves. And the first step in understanding what regulations may apply to AI technology is to agree on what AI means. That is easier said than done.

According to William Tanenbaum, shareholder at the law firm Polsinelli PC, AI in the health care more aptly refers to “augmented intelligence,” which can be relied upon to assist doctors, rather than replace their decision-making. In order to properly use the conclusions that AI applications produce, there must be transparency in the factors used in complex algorithms, he explained in a recent webinar hosted by Polsinelli. Thus, in addition to the data itself, doctors will be vital to training the algorithms.

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