Industry bugaboo: Patchwork rules AI

The telemedicine industry sees the importance of regulation when it comes to AI in healthcare, he just wants the rules to be consistent.

The American Telemedicine Association, which represents industry players including Google, Facebook and Salesforce plus universities, health systems and doctors, announced the principles believes it should lead the adoption of AI.

Yes and: The association wants regulators to ensure that AI works, does not produce inaccurate or biased results and has ongoing oversight.

He wants the federal government to lead the way.

States, it said, should prioritize compliance with federal rules and, if they implement their own regulations, should seek to harmonize them with each other.

Ideally, the association says, the United States should seek to align its rules with those of foreign countries.

What else? The group says makers of AI products must be transparent about what drives product decisions and open to scrutiny and oversight.

AI adopters need to be aware of their impact on the healthcare workforce and retrain technology-displaced workers to fill new roles.

Healthcare providers using artificial intelligence must ensure the privacy of patient data. The association has a data task force that is creating a road map to that end.

Here, we explore the ideas and innovators shaping healthcare.

Those who struggle with Losing a loved one has a new option to ease their grief: apps that will create a digital avatar of the deceased based on customers old voicemails, videos, text messages and emails with the deceased, according to a report in New Scientist.

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Today on ours Checking the pulse podcast, host Alice Miranda Olstein talks with POLITICO health care reporter Robert King, who explains why the lack of an omnibus spending bill at the end of the year creates uncertainty for doctors seeking 11th-hour legislation to prevent cuts to Medicare physician payments.

Medical and nursing students in the US and around the world are planning a career outside of patient care for fear of overwork and burnout, a new report has revealed.

The report by Elsevier Health, an academic publisher, is based on a survey of more than 2,200 students from 91 countries and paints a picture of an area in deep trouble.

A survey found that most medical and nursing students in the US are concerned about their mental health and believe they will suffer from burnout as clinicians.

Almost a quarter are thinking about interrupting their studies.

Even among those who are not considering quitting, fears about the industry are having an effect. The report found that 58 per cent of medical and nursing students worldwide see their current studies as a means to a wider career in healthcare that will not involve patient care.

Why it matters: The medical field is already facing a significant shortage of clinicians. The Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2021 report found a shortage of 19,800 physicians in the U.S. in 2019 and projected a physician shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 by 2034.

Complaints about staff shortages have launched recent labor actions in the field of medicine.

Legislative movement: Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions advanced a $26 billion primary care bill last month which included provisions to strengthen the health care workforce, including $1.2 billion for two-year nursing education programs and $300 million for primary care physician education.

First on a global level, The UK has today approved a treatment for a group of rare blood disorders, including sickle cell, that uses CRISPR gene-editing technology to repair patients’ genes.

The drug, called Casgevi, was developed by two companies in the United States, Vertek Pharmaceuticals and CRISPR Therapeutics. It treats sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia, two inherited diseases that affect patients’ red blood cells, POLITICO’s Carlo Martuscelli reports.

In the US, advisers to the Food and Drug Administration reviewed the manufacturers’ evidence last month.

Why it matters: Sickle cell disease is a genetic disorder that results in misshapen red blood cells with a defective version of the hemoglobin protein, which delivers oxygen throughout the body. These malfunctioning cells can lead to complications including extreme fatigue, blood vessel blockages and debilitating pain that may require hospitalization.

2019 study calculated the average life expectancy for those with sickle cell disease is 54 years compared to 76 years for those without the disease, and patients and their insurers can spend a total of between 1.6 and 1.7 million dollars managing the condition during life.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are about 100,000 people in the US living with sickle cell disease, most of whom are people of color. One in every 365 black or African-Americans has the disease, as does one in every 16,300 Hispanics.

There are drugs that treat the symptoms, including stem cell transfusions, but only stem cell transplants potentially treat the underlying disease. Stem cell transplants must come from a genetically matched healthy donor and put patients at risk of serious side effects, including death.

What’s next? The FDA is expected to decide whether to approve the new treatment in the US next month.

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