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PODCAST: UMass Chan experts discuss benefits, concerns of AI in health care

In a new Voices of UMass Chan episode, two UMass Chan Medical School experts at the forefront of digital medicine discuss the potential impact of artificial intelligence on health care. The conversation with David McManus, MD’02, MSc’12, and Neil Marya, MD’12, covers various topics, including the definition of AI and its historical context.

“The history of artificial intelligence goes back to the late 1940s and the early 1950s,” said Dr. Marya, assistant professor of medicine and co-director of the Program in Digital Medicine. “The earliest application of artificial intelligence that you’re probably familiar with is when you played checkers against a computer when you were a kid. That was the machine learning algorithm.”

Marya and Dr. McManus emphasize that AI is changing aspects of health care, particularly in remote patient care and predictive diagnostics that can assist physicians in diagnosing and treating patients. They also highlight the potential for AI to enhance administrative efficiency.

“Where I see the greatest opportunity for AI is to help with all the stupid stuff that prevents doctors and nurses from having more time to be humans with their patients. We really have not applied AI to all of the administrative waste, which is in health care,” said McManus, the Richard M. Haidack Professor of Medicine and chair and professor of medicine.

They also emphasize the importance of developing ethical and governance frameworks to ensure AI models are reliable, transparent and safe for patients.

“I would say the next five years of medicine will see more change than we saw in the prior 100 years,” McManus said.

Listen to the full Voices of UMass Chan podcast here: Subscribe through SoundCloud, Apple Podcast, Spotify, YouTube, or wherever you listen to podcasts.