What do developments of smart hospitals and smart homes mean for patients, health professionals and policy makers? Better diagnostics? Better medicines? Greater efficiency? Nowadays use of the term artificial intelligence (AI) elicits all sorts of reactions, from enthusiasm to fear. How much are these reactions well-founded? One thing is clear: when it comes to health, AI can be applied in myriad ways, from all of the departments in a hospital to all corners of one’s home.
Terms such as smart hospitals and smart homes are frequently used to capture the huge potential in those locations. However, how much evidence is there that all expectations will be met? Moreover, when we assess AI applications in healthcare, should we include other criteria besides health outcomes and healthcare efficiency? For example, it is likely that many people would not desire a smart home that is proven to improve health outcomes if IT sensors in every room were required; for them, privacy overshadows health.
Given the patchy performance of public health approaches during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the benefit of hindsight, how can we better harness available data to improve decision making for improved societal health, cost management, and patient outcomes – better safety of medicines, control of long-term conditions and solutions for rare/orphan diseases?