Canadian Medical Protective Association supports appropriate use of artificial intelligence in healthcare

OTTAWA, August 14, 2019—The Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) led an engaging discussion on Artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare today in Toronto during its Annual Meeting and Conference. During the session, CMPA members and stakeholders were given a sense of the current state of the AI/Deep Learning technology and its potential application in healthcare/health research.

Dr. David Naylor, Professor of Medicine and President Emeritus, University of Toronto, outlined some of the advantages and pitfalls of AI in the health realm, including its current and future applications to practice. Dr. Hartley Stern, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer at the CMPA, reviewed the medical-legal implications of AI in healthcare. These presentations set the stage for an engaging question and answer period on AI’s potential influence on medical practice.

Dr. Naylor advocated for a well-considered approach to incorporating AI in healthcare, including evaluating the appropriateness of AI tools, and exercising judgment in clinical decision-making. Both Drs. Naylor and Stern emphasized that the objective of using AI-based technology should be to enhance patient care and complement the physician-patient relationship – not replace physician decision-making.

“Physicians are encouraged to understand the relationship between Deep Learning and related data sciences so they can make the best possible use of AI systems,” said Dr. Naylor. “This rapidly developing technology has tremendous potential to improve diagnostic accuracy and enhance access to care.”

“As AI applications continue to improve, the healthcare industry will undergo a significant shift,” said Dr. Stern. “The CMPA urges governments, regulators, and industry to put in place the appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks to support safe adoption of AI and we are eager to contribute to this process. In addition, we will continue to support physicians by providing advice to minimize medical-legal risk as they adopt or are impacted by AI technologies.”

From patient care to clinical research, AI applications are revolutionizing healthcare delivery and contributing toward safe medical care. The speakers emphasized that AI is still developing and has yet to be widely adopted. While evidence about the effectiveness and reliability of the practical applications of AI continues to be limited, there are promising opportunities for healthcare. Both speakers concluded that effective AI adoption requires a well thought-out and balanced approach.

For further details, please see Can I get an [artificial] second opinion? on AI in healthcare. More information and resources are available on the Association’s website or by request.

For more information, please contact:

Noëlla LeBlanc
Manager, Communication Services
[email protected]

How the CMPA provides value

The CMPA delivers efficient, high quality physician-to-physician advice and assistance in medical-legal matters, including the provision of appropriate compensation to patients injured by negligent medical care (fault in Québec). Our evidence-based products and services enhance the safety of medical care, reducing unnecessary harm and costs.

As Canada’s largest physician organization and with the support of our 100,000 physician members, the CMPA collaborates, advocates, and effects positive change on important healthcare and medical-legal issues.