Opinion: COVID-19 Is Accelerating AI in Health Care. Are Federal Agencies Ready?

“Artificial intelligence is rapidly expanding its foothold in health care, including at many federal health agencies such as Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services departments and the Defense Health Agency.”

“The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is demonstrating the power of AI-enabled capabilities for private and public sector health care organizations responsible for responding to today’s health care challenges.”

“For example, the pandemic has catalyzed numerous AI-enabled development efforts for vaccines. After scientists decoded the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2—the virus causing COVID-19—and publicly posted the results on January 10, the race was on. Based on that data, firms began using AI-enabled methods to rapidly develop potential vaccines, some of which are already proceeding to clinical trials. By comparison, traditional non-AI drug development processes take many months, if not years, to proceed to human clinical trials.”

“Likewise, federal health agencies are also incorporating AI-enabled responses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, is hosting an AI-driven bot on its website to help screen people for coronavirus infections as a way to reduce the numbers of patients flocking to increasingly overwhelmed urgent care facilities.”

“Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved use of an AI-driven diagnostic for COVID-19 developed by behold.ai. The tool analyzes lung x-rays and provides radiologists with a tentative diagnosis as soon as the image is captured, reducing time and expense…”

“Based on successful public and private sector AI implementation, federal and defense agencies can achieve greater success in their AI deployments if they…” Read the full article here.

Source: COVID-19 Is Accelerating AI in Health Care. Are Federal Agencies Ready? – By Philip Dietz, May 7, 2020. Nextgov.

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