Medicine manufacturing process
A pharmacy technician at the Amsterdam UMC hospital demonstrates a procedure for mixing and preparing a medicine and distributing it in capsules, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, March 1, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Eva Plevier)

Experts have come together to compile a report that suggests artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare could come with risks, especially in potential misdiagnoses and expensive medical errors that could cost billions and thousands in patient deaths.

A report by Business Insider Intelligence Digital Health Briefing suggested that AI-powered systems in the healthcare sector could pose some unprecedented risks that will cost the industry billions. More importantly, pitfalls in these systems could lead to patient deaths.

The report suggested that artificial intelligence is generally vulnerable to manipulation. This weakness, according to experts, could lead to incorrect diagnoses. Researchers cited a test wherein an image of a benign skin lesion had its pixels altered. The alteration resulted in the AI system misdiagnosing that the lesion was malignant when it wasn't.

The study further revealed that artificial intelligence could incorrectly produce diagnoses to descriptions of diseases with synonymous symptoms, potentially leading to wrong prescriptions.

Another issue that industry analysts pointed out is the financial gain that unethical practitioners could capitalize on through AI alterations in patient scans. Since artificial intelligence is susceptible to tweaking, doctors could leverage on this shortcoming to produce potentially inaccurate diagnoses on the unknowing patient for the purpose of higher payouts.

Finally, researchers stressed that AI-powered systems could result in medical errors that will cost the massive healthcare industry around $20 billion dollars. This amount reportedly accounts for 100,000 to 200,000 inpatient deaths on an annual basis.

Experts indicated that errors resulting from inappropriately trained artificial intelligence systems or machinery could further add to the health industry's losses. Instead of just doctors bearing the burden, hospitals will also suffer the consequences.

The study then recommended that the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare should be properly regulated to ensure that no form of manipulation will be present at any time. Clear regulations around AI in healthcare should be established to prevent problems.

Meanwhile, other analysts clarified that through proper implementation of artificial intelligence in healthcare, the industry could see further growth and more patients could have better hopes for recovery.

With the ethical use of advanced technology, industry experts believe that even the most deadly diseases could see developments. A report from the Times of India suggested that AI algorithms could be used to provide accurate readings on cancer detection processes.

The outlet further reported that AI systems in Chinese studies showed 90 percent accuracy in diagnosing asthma while physicians ranged from 80 to 94 percent in accuracy. Other more common ailments also showed good results, suggesting that proper use of artificial intelligence in healthcare could bring great developments.