Doctors are turning to computers and artificial intelligence to help make medical decisions. But are these systems using reliable data?
Modern medicine has been transformed by digital data. From medical imaging to smart watches and fitness bands, we are generating an enormous amount of information about every patient. We have turned to artificial intelligence – AI for short – to sift through these haystacks of data to find the golden needles of medical insight. A smartphone can now diagnose a child’s cough, and earbuds can measure your blood pressure. But what about the data that is used to train the AI systems that make these decisions? The European Medicines Agency has created a Big Data Steering Group to create guidelines and systems to ensure the quality and reliability of the data used for such systems, and to make sure that regulators are trained in data science so that they can provide informed oversight of these practices. The end result should be safer systems that deliver better outcomes for patients.