Bradley Merrill Thompson, Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in POLITICO, in “AI vs. the Health Bureaucracy,” by Derek Robertson.

Following is an excerpt:

Now that the Biden administration has finally issued its long-awaited executive order on AI, it’s worth considering just how tricky it will be for the lumbering bureaucracy to keep up with a technology that can quite literally teach itself how to change and adapt to its environment.

POLITICO’s Daniel Payne tackled that very subject in a report published over the weekend covering how AI products are hitting doctors’ offices and hospitals across the country without the voluminous amount of testing that the government usually requires for new medical tools. That poses a big problem when the unanswered questions surrounding privacy, bias and accuracy in AI are applied to quite literally life-and-death situations. …

According to the draft of the executive order, the HHS’s AI “Task Force” will be responsible for the “development, maintenance, and use of predictive and generative AI-enabled technologies in healthcare delivery,” “taking into account considerations such as appropriate human oversight of the application of AI-generated output.” It’ll also be required to monitor AI performance and outcomes like any other products, develop a strategy to encourage AI-assisted discovery of new drugs and treatment, and help determine the risks of AI-generated bioweapons.

The EO doesn’t necessarily set new rules around AI safety and privacy concerns in health care, but rather sets a plan in motion to create them. (Eventually. Maybe.) But even with this most sensitive — and highly regulated — of policy subjects, experts and lawmakers are skeptical about when or whether actual, legislative action might be taken once that plan is in place.

Brad Thompson, an attorney at Epstein Becker & Green who counsels companies on AI in health care, told Daniel the legislative “avenue just isn’t available now or in the foreseeable future.” Rep. Greg Murphy (R-N.C.), co-chair of the House’s Doctors Caucus, said state government should take the lead.

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