Ask a doc: 25 burning questions about AI and health care answered by an expert

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As artificial intelligence continues to move into the health care arena — showing up everywhere from ultrasound screenings to drug development to doctors’ offices — some patients may be uncertain, curious or concerned about how it will impact them or their medical care.

Dr. Harvey Castro, an emergency medicine physician in Coppell, Texas, is also a consultant and speaker on AI and ChatGPT in health care.

Castro shared with Fox News Digital some of the most common questions patients are asking about the use of AI in the medical field — and provided his responses.

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)?

Diving right in here … 

Understanding AI in health care

1. What is AI — and how is it used in health care?

“AI, or artificial intelligence, is a technology that mimics human intelligence. In health care, it’s used to analyze medical data, assist in diagnoses and personalize treatment plans.”

He added, “It’s like having an extra set of expert eyes to help us provide the best care for you.”

Dr. Harvey Castro - AI questions

Dr. Harvey Castro, an emergency medicine physician in Coppell, Texas, is also a consultant and speaker on AI and ChatGPT in health care. In this piece, he shares the answers to 25 burning questions about AI and health care. (Dr. Harvey Castro/iStock)

2. How is AI being used in diagnosis or treatment?

“AI can analyze medical records, lab results and imaging studies to assist us in making a more accurate diagnosis. It’s a tool that supports our clinical judgment, ensuring that we consider all available information in your treatment plan.”

3. How does AI personalize health care?

“AI allows us to tailor treatment to your unique needs by analyzing your health data. It’s like having a personalized medical assistant that helps us choose the best treatment options for you, considering your medical history and individual characteristics.”

4. How does AI complement the care provided by human health care professionals?

“AI is a valuable tool that enhances our abilities — not replaces them.”

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“It can process information quickly and identify patterns we might miss, allowing us to focus more on you, the patient, and provide personalized care.”

5. Will AI replace human health care providers?

“No. AI won’t replace human health care providers. It’s a tool that assists us, but it lacks the empathy, ethical judgment and personal touch that only a human can provide. We work together with AI to offer you the best care possible.”

Dr. Harvey Castro with patient

“AI won’t replace human health care providers,” Dr. Castro said, because it “lacks the empathy, ethical judgment and personal touch that only a human can provide.” (Dr. Harvey Castro)

Benefits and risks

6. What are the benefits and potential risks of using AI in health care?

“The benefits of AI include more accurate diagnoses, personalized treatments and efficient care. However, like any technology, it must be used responsibly. Potential risks might include data privacy concerns or biases in AI models. But we take all necessary precautions to mitigate these risks.”

7. Is AI safe to use in medical procedures?

“Yes, AI is rigorously tested and used to enhance our capabilities in medical procedures. For example, in surgery, AI can guide us precisely, improving outcomes and recovery times. Your safety is always our priority.”

8. How can I benefit from AI in my health care journey?

“AI can empower you to take an active role in your health. From personalized treatment plans to AI-powered apps that help you manage chronic conditions, AI is a valuable ally in your health care journey, supporting you and your medical team.”

Privacy and security

9. How does AI ensure the privacy and security of my health data?

“AI systems in health care adhere to strict privacy and security regulations. Your health data is encrypted and used responsibly.”

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“We take your privacy seriously,” added Dr. Castro, “and ensure that all information is handled with the utmost care and confidentiality.”

Dr. Harvey Castro

Dr. Castro compared AI to “having an extra set of expert eyes to help us provide the best care for you.” (Dr. Harvey Castro)

10. How are AI systems in health care adhering to strict privacy and security regulations?

“AI systems comply with legal and ethical standards, including data protection laws. We implement robust security measures to protect your information, ensuring that it’s used solely for your care and for improving health care delivery.”

Ethical considerations and biases

11. Are there any biases in the AI models used for my care?

“We strive to use AI models trained on diverse and representative data. However, biases can exist in any system. We always combine AI’s insights with our professional judgment to ensure your care is fair and appropriate.”

12. What are the limitations of AI in health care?

“While AI offers incredible potential, it has limitations. It requires quality data and human oversight. For example, an AI model trained on specific data may perform poorly on others. We’re aware of these limitations and use AI responsibly in your care.”

13. How does AI address ethical principles in development and deployment?

“Ethical principles guide the development and use of AI in health care. From data privacy to fairness and transparency, we adhere to ethical guidelines to ensure that AI is used to enhance, not hinder, your care.”

Radiology technology

“We always combine AI’s insights with our professional judgment to ensure your care is fair and appropriate,” said Dr. Castro, based in Coppell, Texas.  (iStock)

14. How could AI affect health care workers’ job security and career advancement?

“AI is a tool that complements, not replaces, health care workers. It can handle routine tasks, allowing us to focus on patient care. Far from threatening job security, AI opens new opportunities for growth and innovation in health care.”

Patient empowerment and options

15. Can I opt out of AI-driven care if I choose to — and what are the alternatives?

“Absolutely. The choice is yours. We can discuss alternative options if you prefer to avoid involving AI in your care.”

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“Your comfort and trust are paramount. We’ll work together to find the best approach for you.”

16. How does AI empower patients by providing personalized care and reducing wait times?

“AI helps us quickly understand your unique health needs, leading to personalized care. It also streamlines processes, reducing wait times. It’s like having a customized health care team working efficiently to provide you with the best care possible.”

Dr. Harvey Castro

“AI is a valuable tool that enhances our abilities — not replaces them.”  (Dr. Harvey Castro)

17. How can AI-powered apps help me manage my chronic conditions?

“AI-powered apps can monitor your vital signs, provide real-time feedback and even remind you to take medications. They’re like having a personal health coach in your pocket, effectively supporting you in managing your chronic conditions.”

Technology and innovation

18. How are AI-powered surgical robots assisting surgeons in performing precise procedures?

“AI-powered surgical robots are like an extension of the surgeon’s hands, allowing for exact and minimally invasive procedures. They assist us in performing complex surgeries with greater accuracy, improving your recovery and outcomes.”

19. How does AI analyze complex medical data, assist in diagnosis and predict patient outcomes?

“AI can quickly analyze vast amounts of data, identifying patterns and correlations that might be challenging for humans to detect. It assists us in making accurate diagnoses and even predicting outcomes, ensuring that we provide the most effective care for you.”

20. What are the latest innovations in AI that are transforming health care delivery?

“Innovations in AI are continually emerging, from personalized medicine to virtual health assistants. These technologies are transforming how we deliver care, making it more personalized, efficient and accessible.”

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“It’s an exciting time for health care, and we’re committed to leveraging these innovations for your benefit.”

21. How is AI contributing to research and the development of new medical technologies?

“AI accelerates research by analyzing complex data and identifying new insights. It’s like having a team of expert researchers working around the clock, leading to new medical technologies and treatments that can improve patient care.”

Cancer scans

“AI has the potential to enhance health equity by making quality care accessible to more people,” Dr. Castro said. (iStock)

22. How is AI being integrated into telehealth and remote patient monitoring?

“AI enhances telehealth by enabling remote monitoring and personalized care, even when you’re at home. It’s like having a virtual health care provider, ensuring you receive continuous care and support no matter where you are.”

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23. How are health care leaders and future leaders using AI to work smarter and faster?

“Health care leaders embrace AI to enhance decision-making, streamline workflows and improve patient outcomes. It’s a tool that enables us to work smarter, not harder, ensuring that we provide the best possible care for you.”

Accessibility and equity

24. How does AI address health equity and the patient-physician relationship?

“AI has the potential to enhance health equity by making quality care accessible to more people. It also supports the patient-physician relationship by allowing us to spend more time with you, understand your needs and provide personalized care.”

AI health care

“AI systems in health care adhere to strict privacy and security regulations,” Castro told Fox News Digital. “Your health data is encrypted and used responsibly.” (iStock)

25. Is there a disparity in access to AI-powered health care, particularly in underserved communities?

“While AI offers excellent promise, disparities in access can exist.”

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“We’re committed to addressing these challenges and ensuring that AI-powered health care is accessible to all, regardless of location or socioeconomic status.”



POST AUTHOR: Melissa Rudy

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