Deploying AI in health will lead to more humane medicine

Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially generic intelligence, will allow us to move not only toward intelligent and personalized medicine, but also toward more humane care. Having structured and transversal data to achieve quality results is one of the challenges for the future; Second, its confidentiality and security, so that the use of that information does not represent an attack on the privacy or intimacy of the citizen. There is still a long way to go and many investments to be made, but the race is unstoppable.

This was one of the conclusions of a debate on the era of intelligent medicine, organized in collaboration with the Indra company Minsat, within the framework of Dialogues at La Vanguardia. The roundtable included the participation of Pablo Garzón, head of health in Catalonia at MINSAT; Pol Pérez Sust, General Coordinator of ICT in the Department of Health and Director of Information Systems at Catsalut; Elisenda Serra, Director of Citizenship, Innovation and User Area at CatSalute; Antoni Trilla, senior consulting physician of the Hospital Clinic and dean of the Faculty of Medicine of UB; and Anna Benavente, director of digital strategy and deeds at Parc Touli, Sabadell.

Deploying AI in health will lead to more humane medicine


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Pablo Garzón stressed that AI has “the potential to transform health care”, but he warned that the “key enabling element” to achieve this is “access to and processing of large amounts of clinical data”. The data they all maintain is fundamental, but the tools to work properly with it were not available until now. Serra emphasized that the citizen is the owner and responsible of his data and it is the administration that protects it.

There is a lot of data, the challenge is to optimize it. Pol Pérez elaborated that Catalonia’s shared medical history contains more than 1.5 billion pieces of structured data. “We have a very rich and powerful health system, but heterogeneous in terms of information systems. Also very interconnected, we have done a lot of work on data interoperability, but not on knowledge,” he said, emphasizing that, for now, there is syntactic interoperability, but not on semantics. “And we have to go a step further, giving content and context to the data so that when a professional reads patient information collected by another service, he not only knows, for example, blood pressure, but also the relevant information “The data, how and when it was taken, and with all that information I can make decisions with a better understanding of the facts,” he said, adding that Catalonia is already working on semantic interoperability standards.

AI has transformative potential, but requires access to and processing large amounts of clinical data

pablo garzon

pablo garzonHead of Health in Catalonia at MINSAT

Perez explained that one of the health department’s “passions” is “equity.” He argued that the Clinic or Park Tauli are leading hospitals in Catalonia, but the Berga hospital also needs AI algorithms. He stressed, “We don’t have to re-invent the wheel, we have to leverage what these big centers do at scale and with a single, centralized or federated data model into mainstream data-driven innovation. ” Antoine Trilla agreed, saying, “If good algorithms and good forecasting tools are produced in centers that have a lot of experience, it should be scaled up.”

According to Garzon, MINSAT has focused its efforts on interoperability solutions that “break down the bottleneck caused by data dispersion, aggregating heterogeneous data from different sources of information, persistence of said information, traceability and The standards guarantee interoperability and make it available to practitioners.” , , managers or researchers so that they can be used safely and efficiently.

With data managed by the health system and obtained with the citizen’s permission, personalized prevention can be done

elisenda serra

elisenda serraDirector of Citizenship, Innovation and User Area at CatSalute

The use of AI in health offers benefits at various levels. On the one hand, which most directly affect the patient at different stages of their health process, but are also a very valuable tool in organizations for the management and administration of resources and productivity management, assured all the speakers. In this sense, Trilla argued that, if AI helps to simplify administrative or bureaucratic tasks, the citizen will benefit. “This will give doctors more time to talk to patients, listen to them,” said the clinic’s epidemiologist. The fact that technology has greater capabilities than doctors and supports infinitely greater workloads will also attract attention. “Medicine is a mixture of science and art. Machines will help us in most of the sciences, but the arts will remain for the professional.” And since AI is “not infallible,” professional health care supervision will always be needed. Trilla echoed the ideas of cardiologist Eric Topol, compiled in the book Deep Medicine, saying, “AI can humanize medicine.”

We are passionate about equality. We need to leverage what is done in big hospitals and mainstream data-driven innovation

pol perez

Pol Perez SustDirector of Information Systems at CatSalut

During the debate, some of the initiatives taken by both the health department and the hospitals involved in the Salute/AI program were presented. For example, Serra explained that one of the ongoing projects is scheduling based on reasons, a system that, depending on the reason for the consultation, directs the citizen to the type of professional who should assist them and that establishes Determines for how long they will be provided. Have to get it. In the clinic, we work, among other projects, on dermatology with 360-degree photographs of the body so that all pigmentation can be detected and, with the help of an algorithm, future risk can be evaluated.

Ana Benavente presented two initiatives on behalf of Park Touli. An advanced resolution unit in emergencies, in which after screening and for some pathologies, the nurse, who is an advanced nurse, has an AI algorithm as an assistive tool for treatment, testing and diagnostic guidance. Makes a proposal.

The intersection of health and technology is a center of attraction for startups. Let us seize this opportunity for the benefit of citizens

Anna Benavent

Anna BenaventDirector of Digital and Dads Strategy at ParcTaulí

“We do it as part of a clinical trial, so the patient is asked if they want to enter and signs an informed consent,” he said. The second is an AI algorithm that helps detect stroke, a disease in which every second gained counts. Pérez and Benavente also highlighted the medical image repository managed by Catsalut through the IDI (Institut de Diagnostic de la Imagete) and the CPD (Data Processing Center) of the Generalitat, managed by Catsalut and which, with its three petabytes, is one of the Is. The largest in Europe. The project, called SIMDCAT, “is an asset of Catalonia,” he stressed. Deploying AI also requires a lot of investment.

Speakers highlighted the contribution of the European Next Generation Funds, although Pérez stressed that these aids do not allow the necessary replenishment and, moreover, generate inflationary effects. The Director of Information Systems at Catskill advocated a significant increase in ICT allocation. “In Spain we are between 0.8 and 1%, while the average in Europe is 5%,” he said. Pablo Garzón, for his part, assures that there is a strong trend towards a change in data use models by organizations, “with higher investment in data governance initiatives by ministries, while hospitals and research centers invest in use cases.”

Medicine is a mixture of science and art. In science, machines can help us; art will remain for professionals

Antony Trilla

Antony TrillaEpidemiologist at the Hospital Clinic and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of UB.

Legislation is another challenge to the expansion of AI in health. Garzón argued that the new European Health Data Space would allow citizens to take control of their data and also allow it to be shared securely for research and philanthropic purposes. On AI, the EU will regulate all actions with one law, the world’s first comprehensive AI standard. EU states must select a national supervisory authority to enforce this regulation in their territory. Spain is leading this European initiative with the creation of the Spanish Agency for the Supervision of Artificial Intelligence.

With respect to data privacy, technology is generally ahead of regulations, Benavente said. “And that’s why we always find this difference. This does not mean that, with good habits and procedures, even if you go to the limit, data privacy cannot be guaranteed,” he said. In this sense, he reminded that “zero vulnerability does not exist.” Since, as he said, “AI, especially generics, has democratized technology,” citizens must also take responsibility. He concluded, “This is not just the job of experts or technologists, it is everyone’s job.”

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Catalunya, a property of Catalonia, is one of the largest medical image repositories in Europe. It is managed by CatSalut, through the Institut de Diagnostic per l’Image (IDI) in Sabadell and the Parc Toul hospital.

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