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FDA chief moves to promote artificial intelligence in health care

FDA chief moves to promote artificial intelligence in health care
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is moving to encourage the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in health care, the agency’s chief said Thursday.

“AI holds enormous promise for the future of medicine,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in prepared remarks to the Health Datapalooza conference in Washington, D.C.

He said the FDA is working on an updated “new regulatory framework” that will allow regulators to keep up with new technology and “promote innovation in this space.”

“We expect to see an increasing number of AI-based submissions in the coming years, starting with medical imaging devices, and we’re working with experts in the field,” he said.

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As an example of the new health technology he is seeking to promote, Gottlieb pointed to a new medical device approved by the FDA earlier this month that uses artificial intelligence and a special camera to help diagnose a condition in people with diabetes known as retinopathy that can lead to vision loss.

He said the FDA is working with experts to update the way it evaluates these new technologies in the approval process.

“Eventually, AI tools could be integrated directly into smartphones or wearable devices for a variety of early detection applications, reducing the need for expensive specialist visits while increasing the likelihood that we’re catching potentially serious problems early,” Gottlieb added. “These are no longer far-fetched ideas.”