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One day doctors will be replaced by artificial intelligence (at least in some activities)

According to the Head of Connected Health cluster Piret Hirv, the role of artificial intelligence in future health care is no longer in question and we need to be ready to deploy it.

“It is quite clear that AI will be used more and more in future medicine,” Hirv said. “AI can help direct patients faster to the treatment they need, improve test results, predict future resource requirements in hospitals, or free doctors from routine administrative activities for actual treatment,” Hirv explained to Postimees.

This year’s brainstorming sessions among the Estonian health community discussed how to solve the issues related to the adoption of artificial intelligence. The discussion participants found that the precondition for going forward with AI was systematic and structured data collection and changes in the funding of the entire field.

“Society is ready for AI debates”

Speaking at the health community brainstorming sessions, Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik said that he tends to be optimistic on AI related issues but admitted the topic requires debate in society.

“There is much to be proud of in Estonian health care,” Tanel Kiik said. “Whether it’s a full-featured digital recipe, decision support to identify drug interactions, e-ambulance, e-consultation services, national digital registry or cross-border digital prescription exchange system.”

The minister added that several questions are still up in the air, but he believes society is ready for AI debates. “How far we will go as far as bestowing privileges and where does the responsibility lie? What if a computer gives bad advice or makes the wrong decision – who will be responsible? Where is the boundary between AI’ s rights, responsibility and ethics? Estonian society needs calm dialogue on these matters, be it in healthcare, the legal system or the transport sector.”

The Connected Health cluster led by Tehnopol Science Park is Estonia’s biggest healthcare tech community, uniting health service providers, health tech companies and all other key interest groups in the field. The cluster’s support enables domestic cooperation projects and the export of health technological solutions to other countries.

With world-class expertise and an advanced platform within the EU regulatory framework, Estonia is the ideal location to research, develop and manage e-Health solutions.

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