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THIT 2024: India & US CIOs Discuss AI’s Impact on Privacy & Security In Healthcare

Written by : Arti Ghargi

February 28, 2024

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The discussion shed light on the evolving landscape of AI integration, its implications for patient care, and the need for privacy and security measures.

In a thought-provoking session at THIT 2024, Apollo Hospitals hosted a CIO Roundtable focused on the profound implications of artificial intelligence (AI) on privacy and security within the healthcare sector.

The discussion, spearheaded by prominent figures in healthtech from India and the US, shed light on the evolving landscape of AI integration, its implications for patient care, and the imperative need for robust privacy and security measures.

Ashokkan Somuveerappan, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Apollo Hospitals, set the stage by inviting panellists to share their insights and experiences regarding AI implementation in their respective organisations.

The discussion commenced with Dr Jitendra Barmecha, a seasoned clinician specialising in end-of-life care and addiction medicine, emphasised the significance of simplicity, security, performance, and cost-effectiveness in the adoption of AI technologies.

Dr Barmecha underscored the challenges posed by talent retention in the rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, emphasising the critical importance of talent management strategies amidst the burgeoning AI landscape.

Engaging Patients & Ensuring Privacy

Uday Madasu, CIO of Massachusetts-based Covenant Health, highlighted the pivotal role of education and transparency in engaging both internal stakeholders and external entities, particularly patients and their families.

He stressed the need for educating patients about the benefits and implications of AI-driven healthcare solutions while fostering transparency regarding data usage and security protocols.

“As providers who are embracing newer tools and technologies, we have to do a good job of educating both internal stakeholders and external stakeholders…Along with education, I think transparency is crucial. We have to tell them what we are doing and why and then talk about the how,” Madasu said.

Whereas, Inderpal Kohli, CIO, Englewood Health elaborated on the transformative potential of AI in streamlining clinical workflows and enhancing patient-clinician interactions.

He also walked the panel through innovative solutions implemented by him at Englewood Health such as generative draft responses and ambient charting tools designed to alleviate clinician burden and optimise patient care delivery.

Navigating Privacy & Security Challenges

Highlighting the imperative for transparency and accountability in AI-driven healthcare solutions, Arvind Sivaramakrishnan, CIO-Karkinos Healthcare delved into the intricacies of privacy and security regulations.

He emphasised the need for stringent data governance frameworks and proactive measures to mitigate risks associated with data theft and algorithmic biases.

Talking about data management, he said that the healthcare systems will have to look at their data flow and the nature of collection of information.

“I'm talking of when you're managing your systems, what data is in active usage and what data is not in active usage. What are you using it for? What are you not using it for? I think these are the things that we'll have to look at clearly. I don't believe that we have a ready-made recipe today, but I think getting back to the fundamental principles of data management is going to be really critical,” he added.

Uday Madasu echoed Arvind's sentiments, emphasising the significance of data ownership and stewardship in safeguarding patient privacy and confidentiality.

He underscored the importance of role-based access controls and minimum use necessary standards in ensuring data integrity and compliance with regulatory mandates such as HIPAA.

Regulatory Compliance & Future Trends

Kohli shed light on emerging regulatory frameworks governing AI-based healthcare solutions, underscoring the need for transparency and accountability in algorithm development and deployment.

He highlighted the pivotal role of regulations in safeguarding patient interests and fostering trust in AI-driven technologies.

“The real value of this generative AI is our ability to compute, synthesise large amounts of data, multimodal data, and really help with the decisions and drive outcomes, and that is really the risky part of it. If your algorithm is not trained correctly or is not trained on rich data or quality data, it may affect the outcome, which will affect the patient,” Kohli said.

Dr Jitendra Barmecha talked about the evolving landscape of Generative AI applications in healthcare, emphasising the potential for personalised medicine and enhanced clinical outcomes. However, he also sounded a cautionary note on Generative AI use cases.

“I'm very optimistic, but I think generative AI is a lot of cloud at this moment in terms of enabling safer and healthcare, but I am also optimist that there are some very good use cases,” he said.

Looking Ahead: Future Trends & Strategies

The panellists also discussed future trends and strategies for harnessing the transformative potential of AI in healthcare.

Madasu underscored the importance of AI-enabled wearables in enhancing patient safety and facilitating remote care delivery. He emphasised the need for collaborative efforts to integrate AI-driven solutions into home-based care settings, thereby enhancing patient outcomes and quality of life.

Sivaramakrishnan emphasised the need for a collaborative approach to AI integration, emphasising the complementary role of human expertise and technological innovation in driving clinical excellence.

He underscored the importance of data interoperability and multi-modal data analysis in unlocking insights and improving patient care delivery.

Digital Health News was the official Media Partner at the 11th edition of Transforming Healthcare with IT held in Bengaluru.


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