HCD Conference 2023: Harnessing AI’s Potential In Healthcare

“Artificial intelligence [AI] “It is supposed to change the field of healthcare by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

This was the message from Radhika Dirks, CEO and co-founder of XL Laboratorieswhich focuses on creating innovative companies for the future of artificial intelligence, quantum computing and neurotechnology, starting in 2023. Health Design Conference + Exhibition in New Orleans in early November.

Named a “Women in AI by Forbes,” Dirks brought her expertise to the HCD Conference stage to help attendees explore the role and potential of technology in the industry.

Setting the stage for the discussion, Dirks noted that it takes approximately $1 billion and nine years to bring a drug to market. Additionally, 250,000 deaths in the United States each year may be attributable to medical errors, a statistic that, if it were a disease, would be the third leading cause of death.

“This number is, as expected, avoidable and fixable,” and is one of the main use cases for AI, she said, adding that the statistic led her to found Ribo AI (San Francisco) in 2020, which is using AI to change pace and scale. and the face of drug discovery.

Different types of AI technology

During his keynote presentation, Dirks talked about different types of AI that are making an impact, including generative AI, which focuses on creating new content. “Content that’s on the back of the napkin, but it’s not even necessary,” he said. “Just write what you want to see.”

To illustrate his point, he said he asked AI to create a personal website for him and the results were delivered in seconds. Additionally, he said generative AI is “democratizing creativity” by giving billions of users with computer access the ability to create.

Predictive AI uses machine learning to identify patterns in past events and make predictions about future ones, offering potential to find disease patterns or help develop cures for diseases. Finally, he noted that embedded AI is “breaking into the zeitgeist as we speak” and connecting our devices with AI.

For example, Meta recently introduced a beta version of Meta AI, an advanced conversation assistant that is available in different apps and is coming to Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses. The technology can provide users with real-time information and generate photorealistic images from text messages in seconds to share with friends.

Dirks said he expects digital assistants, such as bots and AI characters, to be everywhere soon, which could change the way people relate to each other. “Are AI personas the future of patient-doctor interactions?” he asked the audience.

Role of AI in healthcare

Other AI-driven changes she sees on the healthcare horizon include personalized care, seamless operations, and next-generation cures. For example, from admission to examination to diagnosis, patients will expect the “same ease, clarity and functionality of AI in the care experience,” she said. As for operations, Dirks said AI can help address the hours and time doctors spend doing paperwork, coding or writing reports, freeing them up to spend more time with patients.

However, with the speed and magnitude of AI technology comes the potential for misuse and errors (known in AI as “hallucinations”). Among the recent examples he cited was the image of Pope Francis in a puffer jacket, a fake or AI-generated image that received a lot of attention on the Internet.

In addition to the ease with which false images or content can be generated, there is also great potential for misinformation, as AI obtains data from the Internet, which is based on likes and clicks and not on factual accuracy.

For example, Dirks said that upon learning of a friend’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis, she turned to AI to help her find a treatment and eventually researched a drug that was touted as highly effective. However, the deeper he dug into the research, the more he realized that the AI ​​was wrong.

“When AI makes mistakes, its degree of error doubles and triples,” he said.

Best practices in AI

Her advice: “Dig deep” and trust your intuition to eliminate bias and misinformation. Additionally, he said it is important for users to establish their values ​​and an ethical foundation to attract good partners and data. “Ethics in this space cannot be a regulatory slap in the face,” she said.

Calling AI a “powerful tool,” he acknowledged the discomfort some may feel with it. Still, he said there is great potential to help healthcare designers innovate and “think big.”

“This moment in AI is the time to transition as leaders but also as humans,” Dirks said.

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