Major need for clear patient data regulations

5 November, 2018

The amount of patient data makes healthcare a dream project for programmers says Göteborgs-Posten (GP) in an article series about artificial intelligence (AI). But the newspaper also asks the question; why have we not come further?

Under the heading “Healthcare is falling behind the AI-boom”, GP writes that artificial intelligence could provide patients with more accurate diagnoses, reduce the use of antibiotics and predict heart attacks.

In a hospital there are huge amounts of data that could be used for new tools to speed up the care chain and reduce costs. However, unclear regulations on integrity and patient safety are slowing development.

“We can never risk patient data ending up in the wrong hands or disclosing personal information that should not be disclosed. It’s a national problem.” says Lina Strand Backman (see image) at the Innovationsplattformen (innovation platform) in the GP article.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are featuring in more and more projects within Region Västra Götaland. The report mentions several examples and great opportunities. However, Sweden is in danger of falling behind in tough international competition. This, despite having very good conditions in which to drive the transformation of healthcare.

Digitalisation has progressed further in other parts of society. According to a report from the Swedish Innovation Agency (Vinnova) and referred to by GP, the gap in healthcare is the biggest between what can be done with AI and what is being done. To take advantage of the potential of digital tools, there is a need for a clear national regulatory framework on how to use data.

The report also notes that smaller innovative tech companies may experience difficulties in accessing the healthcare data needed from larger healthcare organizations.

“No doubt. Small businesses have a challenge. That is why we are trying to create a structure that will help everyone on equal terms, through Sahlgrenska Science Park, the AI Center at Lindholmen, and with us at the Innovationsplatfformen acting as guides,” says Lina Strand Backman to GP.

Read the entire report ‘Healthcare falling behind as AI booms’ (in Swedish) here. Read the GP article (in Swedish)

Text: Kenny Genborg Photo: Anna Hult