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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Hospitals forum: AI could aid medicine but impact labor



Pedro. J. González, executive vice president of the Puerto Rico Hospitals Association

By The Star Staff


While artificial intelligence will never replace humans in health areas, it may impact labor, a group of experts said at a recent Puerto Rico Hospitals Association training forum on technological changes and their application to medicine.


“We hold this forum annually in Puerto Rico so that the entire health sector can get updated on changes and new technological concepts applicable to the health industry,” said Pedro. J. González, executive vice president of the Puerto Rico Hospitals Association. “Among the topics discussed is the use of artificial intelligence as a tool, which, when used properly, can be used to achieve great results in medicine. However, it is important to note that from the labor standpoint, using artificial intelligence impacts health service organizations. From the perspective of medicine, its use could be broad. However, the human element can never be replaced when discussing patient care. Artificial intelligence is a great tool to help diagnose a condition or disease. Still, it requires the participation of a human being so that they can evaluate or interpret all the information provided by a computer or a “robot.”


The Harvard School of Medicine has said AI has the potential to transform health care and disrupt the field of medicine in significant ways, showing remarkable progress in tasks such as diagnostics, data analysis and precision medicine. AI is already being applied in areas ranging from patient triage to cancer detection.


There is speculation about AI eventually replacing physicians, particularly in fields like radiology, pathology and dermatology, where AI’s diagnostic ability can match or even exceed that of clinicians.


At the meeting, health professionals learned about the “status” of implementing technology in the sector. Likewise, they discussed the use of technology and telemedicine to aid in the agility and quality of patient services.


“Daily technological advancement has great challenges. Specifically, the hospital industry faces a range of new applications. Likewise, we are facing new guidelines from the federal government that have said, among other things, that by January 1, 2027, there will be uniformity with the implementation of new requirements related to denials of services produced by insurance companies,” González said. “On this occasion, we had the participation of different sectors of the industry such as Home Health, 330 Outpatient Centers and private Diagnostic and Treatment Centers.”


Also discussed at the forum was cybersecurity and how to face and prevent constant attacks from external elements, or hackers.

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