Courtney Remington

Courtney Remington

The use of AI in the healthcare industry has the potential to revolutionise the way medical professionals diagnose, treat, and manage various diseases. However, the increased use of this technology also raises concerns around meeting ethical and legal standards. In this article, we explore how AI is being used in the health sector, the challenges this presents, and action organisations can take to address concerns.

How is AI being used in healthcare today?

One of the most significant benefits of AI, in healthcare, is the ability to process vast amounts of medical data in real-time. This has many benefits, including improving the diagnosis process through advanced algorithms that quickly analyse data from patient records, medical imaging, and genetic information, providing clearer insights. The technology has also enabled healthcare professionals to better predict patient outcomes, identify risk factors for diseases sooner, and monitor the progress of patients more closely.

Another critical use of AI in healthcare is for medical research. AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of medical data and identify patterns and correlations that may be missed by human researchers. This can lead to new discoveries in medical treatments, drug development, and disease prevention.

What are the challenges of using AI?

While AI technology has many potential benefits for healthcare, there are also several challenges to its use:

  • Data quality: AI algorithms require high-quality data to generate accurate predictions and insights. However, in healthcare, data can be incomplete, inaccurate, or biased. Issues with data can arise for a variety of reasons, such as lack of standardisation of patient data across healthcare providers, human error in documenting information, technical issues, or missing historical medical information. Poor data can negatively impact the performance of AI models.
  • Privacy and security concerns: Healthcare data is sensitive and must be protected to ensure patient privacy. However, AI algorithms require access to large amounts of data, which can create potential security risks if not properly managed.
  • Regulatory and legal challenges: The use of AI in healthcare is subject to various regulatory and legal frameworks, including data protection regulations, which can create challenges for healthcare providers and AI developers.
  • Negligence: Allowing AI systems to make recommendations or decisions without the direct involvement of healthcare professionals raises concerns about the duty of care and any potential negligence. The human perspective is critical in the diagnosis process. A healthcare professional provides the contextual understanding of a patient to assess potential contributing factors and provides an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Ethical concerns: There are ethical concerns around the use of AI in healthcare, particularly around issues such as algorithmic bias, transparency, and accountability.
  • Integration with existing systems: The integration of AI technology with existing healthcare systems can be challenging, particularly in cases where legacy systems are used or where interoperability issues arise.

So, what can your health organisation do?

  • Establish strong data governance policies: This will help ensure that patient data is accurate, complete, and protected. This includes ensuring that data is collected, stored, and analysed in compliance with relevant regulations and standards.
  • Quality control: Healthcare organisations should implement quality control measures to ensure that the data used to train AI algorithms is accurate and unbiased. This includes conducting regular audits of data sources and monitoring the performance of AI models.
  • Don’t forget the human element: Consider the ethical implications of using AI in healthcare, including issues around algorithmic bias, transparency, and accountability. This requires engaging in ongoing ethical discussions and ensuring that AI is developed and used in both a responsible and ethical manner.
  • Training: Healthcare professionals need to be appropriately trained in the use of AI to support their medical services. As with any piece of equipment, there needs to be a clear understanding of the capabilities of the technology, how it can be used, and its limitations.
  • Collaborate with experts: Seek expert advice from technology developers, policymakers, and other stakeholders to ensure that AI is used in a way that benefits patients and improves healthcare outcomes. This includes sharing data and best practices, developing common standards and protocols, and engaging in ongoing discussions around the use of AI in healthcare.
  • Seek legal advice: Legal support is crucial in ensuring that AI systems are transparent and accountable, allowing for proper monitoring and oversight. Don’t hesitate to contact FAL Lawyers for help developing policies and procedures that protect patient rights and ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

If you have any queries on this topic or need assistance updating your privacy policy, please do not hesitate to contact our team. Contact us to book a free consultation today. 

Follow the FAL Lawyers’ AI series to learn about developments, limitations, legal considerations, and more. Through this series we aim to drive discussion around the future of this technology.


The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. If this article pertains to any matters, you or your organisation may have, it is essential that you seek legal and relevant professional advice.

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