Why should Dermatologists be active in Telemedicine and Artificial Intelligence in Dermatology ?

It sounds as an oxymoron question, but the matter of the fact is apart stern rejection from some and muted attitudes from others, there is not enough confidence in shaping and communicating from enough of us. This article and website aims to increase knowledge and to raise questions.

Why should the specialty need to be engaged and involved in this work and these efforts ?

  • Dermatologists as clinicians and as specialists and as experts hold a valuable and intimate knowledge and experience of how to best care for patients with skin disease.
  • This has been acquired since the mid 19th century and we cannot allow the specialty to be phagocytosed by AI technologies which are up to speed, moving faster and increasingly controlled by non-specialists, or other third party participants to the complexities of healthcare.
  • There is a dire need for members of our specialty to be the ones deciding and identifying the right opportunities, the right problems being solved and thinking through how Augmented Intelligence; or Augmented Intelligence can help achieve better care for our patients, and more fulfilling practice for healthcare providers in dermatology and skin health.
  • Just an example: when we think about the clinical deployment:
    • it has to integrate into physician and provider workflows.
    • key stakeholders have to be present in the design of how these tools integrate into practice, and care has to be made in identifying potential bias which could arise in the design or the deployment in a way that could, again, potentially exacerbate healthcare disparities, particularly among vulnerable populations.
    • Even after these models and systems are released into the real world, they have to undergo appropriate clinical monitoring in the same way that the FDA in the US has post-marketing surveillance for medications. We need to have a similar system to ensure the safety and efficacy through routine evaluation after deployment.

Reference: Justin Ko, MD. AAD Position Statement on Augmented Intelligence. Fusing technology with human Expertise to enhance Dermatological Care. 8th World Congress of Teledermatology, Skin Imaging and AI in Skin diseases – November 2020


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