einstein (São Paulo). 02/May/2019;17(2):eED4982.

Artificial intelligence: is it a friend or foe of physicians?

Luís Velez Lapão ORCID logo

DOI: 10.31744/einstein_journal/2019ED4982

Health systems need to be strengthening to face new challenges. Demographic growth must increase the demand for more services, and resulting comorbidities are making systems more expensive. New technologies can contribute positively to transform our society, but, in the healthcare area, this transformation is still late. There is a disproportion between launching innovative services and such services economic impact. Two ideas have dominated the field according to experts, that is, the skeptical picture about the benefit of health technologies and the need to reorganize health because of low level of economic growth, and increasing demand for services. However, others are more convinced of the promise of these technologies innovation for healthcare, especially related with the economic gains that digital technologies will bring. Digital technologies are already producing huge benefits to health information. Emerging evidences have already show some beneficial effects of digital services, despite the many challenges that remain linked to their implementation in health context.(,)

Technology is a crucial factor, but only when well-aligned to the care process. Artificial intelligence (AI), as well as Big Data, and Internet-of-Things, are extremely relevant, but there is a need of evidence or, even, a guarantee that these technologies are useful. The massive use of data combined with AI can, perhaps, from 5 to 10 years, allow better comprehension of health systems dynamic (e.g., user’s behavior, use of services, epidemics, etc.), better use of resources, and improve the creation of knowledge. IBM, Google and other companies have invested large amount of money in AI, but, so far, available AI resources are not ready to be applied in large scale in the healthcare area.()

Artificial intelligence: is it a friend or foe of physicians?