Is the healthcare industry ready for generative AI? Nurses say no, Kaiser Permanente begs to differ

The health care industry generates just about 30% of all the data in all the world — of course it’s the target of a vast number generative AI dreams from freshly founded startups ready to reap the rewards of a gen AI tool that performs medical miracles to the C-suite visionaries at major hospitals, predicting that AI will not only save lives but help sort out that tricky profit versus patients balance sheet.

Healthcare titan Kaiser Permanente, with 40 hospitals over eight states, has swandived into the generative AI pool of possibilities, and is actively implementing generative AI tools across its locations. For the full run-down of the organization’s AI journey, don’t miss Daniel Yang, VP of AI and emerging technologies at Kaiser Permanente at VB Transform. Yang will be speaking as part of the Transform healthcare track falling on the second day of the event focusing on the main gen AI opportunities, including speakers from Sutter Health, Stanford Hospital and Healthvana (Healthvana now has the widest health app in distribution with OpenAI’s LLM communicating directly with users.)

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Daniel Yang, VP of AI and emerging technologies, Kaiser Permanente

Meanwhile, Kaiser Permanente nurses have a little something to say about that AI journey too. Just a few months ago, 200 members of the California Nurses Association (CAN) staged a protest at one of Kaiser’s San Francisco locations, holding signs that read “Patients are not algorithms” and “Trust nurses, not AI,” and calling for greater transparency in the tools, and a say in how these platforms are deployed, because patients are the ones in the cross hairs if anything goes wrong. Some nurses have even flagged problems with the tool, such as incorrect alarms or actually failing to detect patients in dire need, according to CAN President Michelle Gutierrez Vo, who represents the 24,000 nurses at Kaiser Permanente.

The healthcare industry as a whole has long grappled with data governance, privacy, model bias and inconsistent standards in its efforts to adopt AI in a measured, ethical and responsible way. But the folks on the front lines see it differently, asking for a slowdown, vigorous testing, and a seat at the table, Vo added. The big questions — is AI actually smart enough to save patient lives, and is the end goal to swap out real-live medical professionals for their AI-powered analogue?

And another question: Are healthcare providers listening?

Yang will tackle that question at VB Transform, where he’ll delve into the transformative journey of integrating generative AI within one of the largest healthcare organizations in the United States, and their path to responsible AI. You’ll get a look at the most promising generative AI applications in healthcare in action, insights into real-world applications such as predictive analytics for patient outcomes, natural language processing to manage patient inquiries, and advanced diagnostic tools. And of course he’ll address the elephant in the room: the challenges that generative AI pose, from data management to ensuring accountability maintaining patient privacy and more.

Don’t miss this chance to learn what healthcare organizations are doing to advance the industry, keep patients safe and embrace innovation as it emerges. VB Transform 2024 is happening live in San Francisco, July 9, 10 and 11. This year the theme is putting AI to work at scale, with a focus on the practical gen AI case studies and application stories that matter most, directly from the industry leaders with the smartest brains and the moxie to match. Register now!

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