Writer and mum of three, Elizabeth Morrow reflects on her first AIMed event and makes a call for inclusivity
As a mum of three young girls, I am on a personal journey to learn about advances in digital intelligence so that I can help guide my daughters to live well in a new digital/human world. My experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting is that sometimes a person can feel like an anomalous individual in a system. Their unique self can feel lost in a sea of predictions and assumptions. The person is engulfed by questions about what is happening to them, what is best for them, and why?
I believe human/digital intelligence could be 1) a way to see and to hear the unique person and to realise the value of human diversity, and 2) a fulfillable offer, there for any person in times of need, with an open heart and mind.
These beliefs are exciting and world changing.
As a writer, like everyone else, I draw on personal and collective knowledge to explore what is real, what I can trust, how I can respond, and how to be ‘woke’ or do no harm. I value the wide range of disciplines, faiths, and intersubjectivity (people sharing their views) as ways to make sense and meaning. I write about what I find in a blog, Seven Cs of Inclusion
With my personal interest in inclusion, I am attentive to how conversations about the future of digital intelligence and ‘digital conscience’ are unfolding, especially in relation to health as a primary element of wellbeing. I recently had the pleasure of attending an AIMed Clinician Series event for the first time, to hear about how artificial intelligence is changing medicine and care.
The event was hosted online by the founder of AIMed, Dr Anthony Chang, who is also Chief Innovation and Intelligence Officer, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). This clinically focused event covered Surgery, ICU and Neurosciences but there are other events in the series such as Primary Care and Population Health, as well as an in-person Global Summit in January 2022, which looks an amazing opportunity for learning.
I was delighted that the opening session of the conference began by hearing from 15 year-old Imaan Alrahani about her three ‘wishes’ for diabetes: to cure diabetes, for other people to understand what it feels like to have diabetes, and to make treatment less of a pain. This set the tone for the event and the focus on the impact on patients at the sharp end of human/digital health care.
Keynote presentations, breakout streams, and networking rooms were all made possible by the excellent Brella platform, which was relatively easy to navigate. Although I couldn’t help thinking that a virtual notice board would be useful to pin comments and more general suggestions.
My enlightening moments
- The wide range of medical, human, and economic benefits of digital intelligence e.g., reduced patient waiting times because of better patient-centred data, enhanced patient pathways, more precise assessment and treatments, identification of types of diseases, drug development, and many other advances.
- Digital/human intelligence can transform health data into value. However, more needs to be done to align value with health system goals, to understand and share the benefits more equally, and to overcome health disparities.
- The massive benefits of digital intelligence for non-invasive ‘fact finding’, particularly in imaging or video data such as much faster and more detailed brain scans for cancer and dementia, retinol scans for identifying autism, and real-time analysis in clinical settings e.g. endoscopy.
- The need for technology developers to engage clinicians right from the beginning of technology design so that agile digital/human intelligence learns by working together to maximise benefits.
- The limitations of making more use of the masses of health data available – ‘data wrangling’ – and the challenges of accessing (data protection) and pooling (interoperability) quality anonymised representative patient data to train digital intelligence and address algorithmic bias e.g. overcoming race bias within datasets.
- There are strong aspirations for digital intelligence to support more ‘mature’ complex clinical decision making and problem solving, to improve safety e.g., mental burnout and the reliability of clinical judgement e.g., supporting junior doctors.
- There are also aspirations to make greater use of embedded technologies e.g. data from wearable technologies that patients monitor themselves or to pick up symptoms quicker e.g. sepsis.
- The limitations of digital intelligence to support more complex cognitive processes like person-diagnosis and moves towards creating more cognitive-based forms of digital intelligence.
- The ‘trust process’ surrounding development and implementation of digital technologies i.e. validation, measurement and oversight of the development process and outcomes of new digital/human ways of delivering clinical care.
- Learning about digital/human intelligence across medical sub-specialties, which could be extended to other clinical domains, and beyond healthcare.
My final reflection is that perhaps more could be done through AIMed and other organisations, to link patients into digital intelligence, so that the person can try to answer for themselves the key questions; ‘What is happening to me, what is best for me and why?’
If you are interested in the future of medicine or human/digital intelligence, AIMed’s ongoing Clinician Series is sure to provide plenty of inspiration.