Foundational Considerations for Artificial Intelligence Utilizing Ophthalmic Images
Ophthalmology. 2021 Aug 31:S0161-6420(21)00643-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2021.08.023. Online ahead of print.
IMPORTANCE: The development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other machine diagnostic systems, also known as Software as a Medical Device (SaMD), and its recent introduction into clinical practice, requires a deeply-rooted foundation in bioethics, for consideration by regulatory agencies and other stakeholders around the globe.
OBJECTIVES: Initiate a dialogue on the issues to consider when developing a bioethically sound foundation for AI in medicine, based on images of eye structures, for discussion with all stakeholders.
EVIDENCE REVIEW: The scope of the issues and summaries of the discussions under consideration by the Foundational Principles of Ophthalmic Imaging and Algorithmic Interpretation Working Group, as first presented during the Collaborative Community on Ophthalmic Imaging inaugural meeting on September 7, 2020, and afterwards in the working group.
FINDINGS: AI has the potential to fundamentally improve the access to healthcare and patient outcomes, while decreasing disparities, lowering cost, as well as enhancing the care team. Nevertheless, substantial concerns exist. Ethicists, AI algorithm experts, as well as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies, industry, patient advocacy groups, clinicians and their professional societies, other provider groups, payors, and other healthcare stakeholders working together in collaborative communities to resolve such issues as non-maleficence, autonomy and equity, is essential to attain this potential, and impacts all levels of the design, validation and implementation of AI in medicine. Design, validation and implementation of AI warrant meticulous attention.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: The development of a bioethically sound foundation may be possible if it is based in non-maleficence, autonomy and equity, for considerations for the design, validation and implementation for AI systems. Achieving such a foundation will be helpful for continuing successful introduction into medicine, before consideration by regulatory agencies around the globe.Fundamental improvements in accessibility and quality of healthcare, decrease in health disparities, and lower cost can thereby be achieved. These considerations should be discussed with all stakeholders and expanded upon as a useful initiation of this dialogue.