Sunday Keynote Explores Pros and Cons of Artificial Intelligence in Health Care

Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH, FACC,FAHA
Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA

As artificial intelligence technology continues to develop and adoption in health care increases, clinicians and researchers must be informed about best practices and potential issues associated with leveraging AI. The Fran Comi Keynote Lecture at the ATS 2024 International Conference will spotlight numerous pros and cons related to AI in Medicine on Sunday, May 19, from 8-8:45 a.m. PT  in the San Diego Convention Center.

This Keynote will be moderated by Michael Howell, MD, MPH, chief clinical officer at Google, and feature expert insights from co-presenters Fatima Rodriguez, MD, MPH, FACC, FAHA, and Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD, FACP.

Dr. Rodriguez is a cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at Stanford University. Her research includes a multitude of topics centered on racial, ethnic, and gender disparities in cardiovascular disease prevention, developing novel interventions to address disparities, and opportunistic screening of coronary artery disease.

Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD, FACP
Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD, FACP

“A lot of my research is focused on how we can use data that is already available in patients’ health records to help us make better decisions about personalizing risk prediction tools and using them to start therapy and prevent disease,” Dr. Rodriguez explained. “AI is an incredibly powerful tool to help us do this at scale with large populations.”

Dr. Rodriguez is exploring numerous applications for AI in medicine that range from interpreting medical imaging to rote clerical tasks that can be automated to a high degree of accuracy and reduce provider workloads. However, she emphasized that AI’s efficacy and impact are dependent on the users and the quality of the input data sets. She plans to share practical lessons and best practices to combat bias with AI.

“I tell my friends who work in computer sciences that I don’t think the innovation we need is in artificial intelligence because the technology itself is going to keep improving. There’s always going to be a better algorithm,” she explained. “The innovation is figuring out how we use these tools to bring people to health care delivery. That’s the gap we still haven’t closed.”

Dr. DeCamp is an associate professor in the Center for Bioethics and Humanities and Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado. He employs empirical and conceptual methods to identify and solve problems at the intersections of health care, policy, and bioethics.

One of the emphases of his research is ethical issues in AI. He is the principal investigator for two active projects related to AI in health care: an NIH/NINR R01 project on the use of AI-based prognostication in palliative care and a Greenwall Foundation Making a Difference grant examining ethics and chatbots. 

“In ethics, we often think about questions of choice or benefit as separate from questions of equity or bias, but they’re related,” Dr. DeCamp said. “I hope to provide an overview of the foundational ethics issues related to AI and outline those connections to bias and health disparities.”

He explained there is ample anthropological and sociological evidence to illustrate that the tools humans use can change how we think. For example, the availability of computers or smartphones significantly altered how we communicate. According to Dr. DeCamp, in this sense, AI is no different.

“I want people to be aware that these tools we use can change how we behave toward each other and our patients in ways that affect our fundamental commitments around ethics,” he explained.

By confronting these ethical dilemmas, Dr. DeCamp will also discuss how health care professionals can use ethics to create practical, action-oriented strategies to improve AI.

“I think people sometimes think of ethics as being only critical, which shouldn’t be the case,” he said. “Ethical frameworks should also give us positive ways to act and move forward.”

Don’t Miss ATS 2024 Highlights: On Demand

Don’t forget that ATS 2024 Highlights: On Demand are available to all conference registrants! On Demand will give you access to the Opening Ceremony, Plenary Session, Keynote Series, Clinical Year in Review, Adult Clinical Core Curriculum, and so much more. The topics will cover ILD, asthma, health equity, and CF, to name just a few. On Demand content will be accessible to all ATS 2024 full conference and On Demand registrants until March 2025.