At a two-day event to learn about the ethics and consumer implications of artificial intelligence, an ONC official and tech developer offered the healthcare perspective.

In hearings yesterday and today at the Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C., the Federal Trade Commission is gathering expert perspective on the current state of artificial intelligence technologies and techniques: how they're being put to work in real-world practice; what ethical and consumer protection issues might be at play; how industries are being reshaped by them, and how federal policy should evolve accordingly.

WHY IT MATTERS
Speaking at the event on Nov. 13 were Teresa Zayas Cabán, chief scientist at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, and Dr. Michael Abramoff, founder and CEO of IDx Technologies. His is the first company to get clearance from the FDA for an autonomous AI diagnostic device: its IDx-DR, which uses an algorithm to assist in detection of diabetic retinopathy and has already been rolled out at some health systems.

Their panel discussion, Understanding Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Predictive Analytics Through Real World Applications, included leaders from companies such as Adobe and Visa, which showed how they're using AI (improving consumers' creative experience and protecting against fraud, respectively, among others), but later turned to healthcare applications.

As an ophthalmologist and longtime proponent of AI, Abramoff said his nickname among his clinical peers used to be "The Retinator."