HIPAA-compliance means keeping patient information secure and respecting their privacy. HIPAA is much more than a standard practice, it is an ethical matter.
Every aspect of healthcare must be in compliance with HIPAA, even the technology.
This article will explore smart AI technology and its lasting effects on healthcare.
What Does Smart AI Look Like in Healthcare?
Smart Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to the use of algorithms designed to perform certain tasks. These algorithms can review, interpret, and suggest solutions to complex medical problems.
Smart AI is also a cost-effective alternative for medical professionals. In 2014, the health AI industry was valued at an estimated $600 million, and is now on track to be worth $150 billion by 2026.
The industry is growing and changing medicine at a fast pace. And these rapid innovations pose the question of how to maintain the integrity of patient health information.
HIPAA Laws in Regards to Practices and Patient Information
In 1996, congress passed The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The act is a federal law that demanded national standards be put in place to protect patients. HIPAA decreases healthcare fraud, mandates confidentiality, and establishes standards for health-related electronic billing.
Two main rules fall under HIPAA, and they are the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the HIPAA Security Rule. The first addresses procedures for saving, sharing, and accessing information. While the latter outlines national security standards that protect all electronic data.
Technological advancements in the medical field are not new. And their increased development and usage created a need for strict guidelines.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act saw the installment of the HITECH Act in 2009. Together, these acts call for the adoption of information technology in healthcare.
Technology adds convenience to both medical professionals and patients. It provides quick results and helps to save more lives.
Technology is necessary for healthcare, as is the safety of patient data. But with the use of smart AI comes the risk of security breaches.
Medical records are valuable, not just to patients and doctors but to hackers. They are in fact between ten to forty times more valuable than credit cards on the black market. Their value stems from containing social security numbers.
Cyberattacks can cost hospitals upwards of $6.2 billion each year so having a security system in place is a must.
The benefits of smart AI stretch beyond servicing patients and streamlining medical records. It also aids in protecting those records and making IT security more proactive.
Smart AI security works by using machine-learning apps. These apps use historical data to recognize malware patterns of both known and unknown programs.
Current AI IT technology helps hospitals do the following:
- identify new threats
- respond and isolate data breaches
- protect connected medical devices
- extend security resources
Having technology in place for when security is compromised is important. It is also necessary to have policies and procedures for breach prevention.
Automating IT security systems helps to reduce financial liability, and protect patients’ information.
Compliance and Technology
HIPAA compliance is something that is always evolving, much like smart AI. When new technology is introduced to healthcare, it must comply with the current HIPAA laws.
There are many ways to implement new AI while maintaining compliance with HIPAA. When adding or updating systems it’s important to have the following in place:
- access to stored data shared with appropriate parties
- encrypted data
- de-identified data when conducting research
- updated policies and procedures to reflect current HIPAA laws
- a signed business associate agreement (BAA) before sharing any protected health information (PHI)
The Future of AI and Healthcare
As quickly as technology is being produced, it is being introduced and used in every aspect of the medical field. From training to diagnosing and treating. There’s no doubt that more tools will be created but what does that mean for the future of healthcare?
Smart AI is used to provide clinical decision support and information management. This allows patients to connect with their doctors quickly via telemedicine which helps to increase convenience and comfortability. It also allows for doctors to expand their scope of knowledge through AI training.
The future of smart AI in healthcare is limitless as we are constantly moving to more digital alternatives. Within the next six years, we are expected to see growth in the following:
- robot-assisted surgery
- virtual nursing assistants
- fraud detection
- administrative assistance
- dosage error reduction
- clinical trials
- preliminary diagnosis
- automated image diagnosis
The savings from robot-assisted surgery and virtual nursing and administrative assistants alone is estimated to be valued at $78 billion by 2026.
Not only is smart AI beneficial to clients and healthcare professionals, but it is an extremely lucrative business.
With ease and convenience comes great risk as we leap further into a more digitized world. It’s important now more than ever to have proactive policies and procedures in place surrounding smart AI and to constantly update them to ensure the privacy of patient data.
It’s clear that smart AI is a force and will continue changing our medical experience for the better. It allows for quicker diagnosing and more customized treatments for the patient’s needs. The tools are both efficient and affordable and are a necessity for healthcare workers around the world.
With innovations continuing to take place, smart AI will continue to save money and lives.
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