This week, the Biden administration issued a groundbreaking executive order concerning artificial intelligence (AI). This order introduces novel standards for AI safety and security, safeguards the privacy of American citizens, advances principles of equity and civil rights, champions the interests of consumers and workers, fosters innovation and competition, and bolsters American leadership on the global stage.
Among its provisions, the order mandates that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) undertake comprehensive actions in the realm of artificial intelligence within the healthcare sector. These actions include:
- Advancing the responsible application of AI in healthcare and the development of affordable, life-saving pharmaceuticals.
- Creating a safety program designed to receive and address reports of AI-related harms or unsafe healthcare practices.
- Propelling AI research across the United States by piloting the National AI Research Resource, granting researchers and students access to essential AI resources and data.
- Expanding research grants for AI in critical areas like healthcare and climate change.
Furthermore, the order instructs the HHS Secretary to collaborate with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish an HHS AI Task Force. Within a year, this task force must develop a strategic plan, encompassing policies and frameworks, which may involve regulatory actions when appropriate. The plan is focused on the responsible deployment and utilization of AI and AI-enabled technologies in the health and human services sector, covering research and discovery, drug and device safety, healthcare delivery and financing, as well as public health.
Additionally, the California Medical Association (CMA) has recognized AI as a pivotal issue impacting its members, the association itself, and the practice of medicine. They have designated AI as one of the "major issues" to be addressed by the CMA House of Delegates (HOD) this year. It's worth noting that the draft report, which does not become CMA policy until adopted by the HOD or the Board of Trustees, is available for members to view at cmadocs.org/hod/reports.