The healthcare industry is rapidly adopting generative artificial intelligence (AI), but it is crucial to use this technology responsibly. Rich Birhanzel, the healthcare lead at Accenture, recommends three key steps for the responsible implementation of generative AI in healthcare. First, organizations should ensure their proprietary data is ready for use. Customizing foundation models requires access to domain-specific organizational data, which can address unique needs. Healthcare organizations also need a strategic approach to acquiring, refining, and safeguarding data, especially considering the sensitivity of personally identifiable information and protected health information.
Secondly, Birhanzel emphasizes the importance of establishing the right controls. Healthcare organizations should define a responsible AI mission and principles and develop a transparent governance structure to build trust in AI technologies. Assessing the potential risks of generative AI at the design stage and complying with existing laws and regulations are essential. Organizations should also focus on the proactive development of responsible AI capabilities, including risk management, policy development, technology integration, and training programs.
Lastly, harmonizing people with generative AI is crucial. While AI can assist healthcare professionals in complex tasks, it depends on human guidance based on experience and expertise. Healthcare organizations need to provide training programs to help workers adapt to AI advances, enabling them to confidently utilize AI as a “copilot.” They should decompose existing jobs into task bundles and assess how generative AI will affect each task – whether it will be fully automated, augmented, or unaffected. Rethinking work processes and supporting employees through technology-driven changes are key to realizing the full potential of generative AI in healthcare.
In the next five years, generative AI is expected to revolutionize healthcare by transforming how information is accessed, how healthcare needs are addressed, and how organizations are managed. According to Accenture research, healthcare provider executives are highly optimistic about the potential of generative AI to improve access, experience, and outcomes in healthcare delivery. This marks an exciting era of enterprise intelligence, promising significant advancements in the healthcare industry.