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New Standard Launched for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare –

By Samantha McGrail

March 03, 2020 – More than 50 organizations recently developed the first-ever ANSI-accredited standard for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare.

The organizations consist of major tech companies and healthcare industry leaders such as Amazon, AT&T, AMA, Fitbit, and Google, which were called on by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). This standard will set a pathway for implementing medical and healthcare solutions build on AI. 

Standards are designed to serve the public through removal of any misunderstandings between manufacturers and purchasers, boosting interchangeability and improvement of products, and assisting the purchaser in selecting and obtaining the appropriate product for their particular need, according to a CTA document. 

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The CTA adopts standards in accordance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) patent policy, therefore, the CTA does not assume liability to any patent owner. 

“This standard creates a firm base for the growing use of AI in our healthcare-technology that will better diagnose diseases, monitor patients’ recoveries, and help us all live healthier lives,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA said in the announcement. “This is the first major step-covening some of the biggest players in the digital health world- to help create a more efficient healthcare system and offer value-based healthcare to Americans.” 

CTA announced working groups consisting of a wide range of decision-makers from 52 organizations to launch a standard based on consensus to tackle the confusion of AI-related terms such as telehealth and remote patient monitoring.

The standard, which consists of 11 definitions and characteristics, provides a framework to better understand AI technologies so that consumers, tech companies, and care providers can better communicate and use AI efficiently. 

An additional committee at CTA published an ANSI-accredited standard that looks to address the prevalence of AI-enabled technology across the healthcare space. This standard touches on more than 30 terms such as machine learning, model bias, artificial neural network, and trustworthiness.

“So far, common terminology has defined the intent of use- and that’s one of the most significant challenges in developing standard application of AI,” said Rene Quashie, VP of policy and regulatory affairs, and digital health at CTA.

The standard includes definitions for the contentious term assistive intelligence, which leaders agreed to define as a category of AI software that pushes a diagnosis or clinical management of a patient, the group highlighted. 

Other definitions mentioned included machine learning, which creates AI systems using algorithms, data, tools, and techniques, and regression, defined as technique used in AI and ML in which the application continuously estimates the relationship between outputs through numeric values. 

“As health systems and providers use AI tools such as machine learning to diagnose, treat, and manage disease, there’s an urgent need to understand and agree on AI concepts for consistent use. This standard does exactly that,” Quashie continued. 

AI continues to play a vital role in driving efficiency in healthcare and will enhance health providers’ efforts in making more accurate and individualistic diagnoses. The technology will also tackle significant challenges such as clinician shortages, an aging population, and widespread chronic diseases across the country. 

“AI will be used for decision support and decision making, which stresses the need for professionals to be able to take ownership, apply judgment and empathy. Transparency and common language will be key to enable the proper and safe functioning of AI,” concluded Pat Baird, regulatory head of global software standards at Philips and co-chair of the working group.