Google's chief health officer: AI won't replace physicians, but clinicians with AI will

Karen DeSalvo, MD, chief health officer of Google, wrote in an Oct. 3 Google blog post that AI will not replace physicians, but instead, clinicians who use AI will replace clinicians without AI. 

Dr. DeSalvo said AI is going to increasingly become one of the most powerful tools in a physician's bag, and that the technology will not eliminate the need for clinicians, as health "requires human judgment."

But Dr. DeSalvo wrote that clinicians should be prepared to embrace AI "as a powerful assistive technology that can help them make better decisions, save time, access additional insights, enhance diagnostic accuracy and boost their ability to deliver excellent care and improve health."

Currently, Google is working with Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare to use generative artificial intelligence technology from Google to document emergency room visits and speed up nurse handoffs.

The tech giant is also working with EHR vendor Meditech to bring generative artificial intelligence to EHRs.

With Meditech, Google plans to use the technology to automate summaries for patient discharges and nursing shift changes, consolidate patient medical records, and incorporate Google's Med-PaLM 2 healthcare AI chatbot into the EHR so providers can ask questions about specific patients.

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