Dozens of pages of practical solutions developed among experts on artificial intelligence in health – this is the result of several months of work to create the “White Paper on AI in Clinical Practice.”

Industry self-regulation has filled the gap

The use of artificial intelligence by Polish medical institutions has so far been associated with many challenges and doubts. The reason? Lack of adequate regulations both at the national level and in the EU. Innovation leaders in Polish medical facilities have to contend with the lack of regulations on the use of AI in health. The legislative process at the EU level is at a relatively early stage. “The White Paper on AI in Clinical Practice” is the answer to the related challenges.

Why “AI White Paper in Clinical Practice” is needed?

The creators of the self-regulation set themselves the goal of identifying the most important questions and concerns that arise in the daily practice of using AI. From the document, one can learn what artificial intelligence in health is, what opportunities it creates, whether its use of health care is legally permissible, how artificial intelligence can support the medical professional and the patient, and what public policy is on the development of artificial intelligence in health care. The authors of the document also devoted a lot of attention to patient rights. This is important, because medical facilities and doctors have so far posed many questions is how to use solutions based on artificial intelligence in compliance with existing laws.

Will AI replace doctors?

Among other things, the White Paper provides guidance on the use of AI in accordance with the rules of the medical profession. An important aspect is, first of all, that AI does not replace the medical professional, does not make decisions for him or her and does not provide health care services for him or her, nor does it independently adjudicate health conditions. AI is intended to support therapeutic, diagnostic, scientific and research, organizational and management processes, and to be a tool in the hands of the doctor.

There is no turning back from artificial intelligence in health. This is a fact, and at the same time a huge opportunity to treat patients more effectively and make the health care system function more efficiently. In practice, this means faster and more accurate diagnosis, implementation of proper treatment, as well as optimization of resources and costs,” notes Ligia Kornowska, Managing Director of the Polish Hospital Federation, Leader of the AI in Health Coalition.

AI and the provision of health services

The creators of the White Paper also leaned into the aspect of using artificial intelligence to provide health services. They began their deliberations in this context with the Law on Medical Activity and pointed out the complicated situation of legal entities that are liable for the health services provided in their operation. In this case – theoretically – when the artificial intelligence used by the hospital refuses to admit a patient, the patient can formulate an allegation that the hospital refused to provide him with health services.

It should be pointed out that, as the law currently stands, the responsibility for health services lies with doctors and other medical professionals, not with the tools used to provide them. Thus, it is not the AI that provides the health benefit, but the doctor using it. The service is therefore provided by an individual, whose actions may also be the responsibility of a legal entity (such as a hospital).

Informing the patient about AI

The use of AI also raises the question of whether the patient should be informed about the use of AI in the provision of services, and whether the patient should give consent?

The use of AI alone does not necessarily mean that the patient should be informed, consent should be taken away, or information should be placed in the patient’s record. The most important thing is to determine the relevance of the use of AI in the diagnostic and treatment process. However, there should not be situations where either of the extremes occurs, such as the doctor’s failure to provide information to the patient in a situation of using AI, or, on the contrary, burdening the patient with data that he or she does not understand and often does not need. It is worth noting that the patient has the right to ask for clarification as long as the information provided is understood by the patient.

Practical guidance

“The White Paper on AI in Clinical Practice” indicates proposed directions of response and possible solutions, which, in the opinion of the self-regulatory authors, can contribute to increasing the safety and quality of AI use, and ultimately to building trust in the technology.

The creators of the White Paper are the Polish Hospital Federation, the AI in Health Coalition and GRAI for Artificial Intelligence.

Partners are IQVIA, Microsoft, Medicover, LUXMED Group, Abbot and Comarch Healthcare.