Giving Compass' Take:

• Bringing AI into healthcare would significantly help with understanding data and solving complex problems that arise in the healthcare industry. 

• How can donors support AI advances in responding to COVID-19?

• Read more about how to harness technologies in the fight against the pandemic. 

Health care languishes in data dissonance. A fundamental imbalance between collection and use persists across systems and geopolitical boundaries. Data collection has been an all-consuming effort with good intent but insufficient results in turning data into action. After a strong decade, the sentiment is that the data is inconsistent, messy, and untrustworthy. The most advanced health systems in the world remain confused by what they’ve amassed: reams of data without a clear path toward impact. Artificial intelligence (AI) can see through the murk, clear away the noise, and find meaning in existing data beyond the capacity of any human(s) or other technology.

AI is a term for technologies or machines that have the capability to adapt and learn. This is the fundamental meaning of being data-driven, to be able to take measure of available data and perform an action or change one’s mind. Machine Learning is at the heart of AI—teaching machines to learn from data, rather than requiring hard-coded rules (as did machines of the past).

No domain is more deserving of meaningful AI than health care. Health care is arguably the most complex industry on earth—operating at the nexus of evolving science, business, politics, and mercurial human behavior. These influences push and pull in perpetual contradiction.

To achieve impact at scale, machine learning must be deployed in the most and least advanced health systems in the world. Any decent technology should remain resilient outside the walls of academia and the pristine data environments of tech giants. AI can learn from many dimensions of data—photographs, natural language, tabular data, satellite imagery—and can adapt, learning from the data that’s available. The ability to adapt is what defines AI. AI at its best is designed to solve complex problems—not wardrobe preferences. Now is the time to bring AI to health care.

Read the full article about AI solutions for healthcare by Drew Arenth at Brookings.