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Governance of technologies

Application of AI in healthcare, in particular regarding its impact on the doctor-patient relationship - report of the consultant expert Brent Mittelstadt

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On 7 June, 2022, the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for Human Rights in the fields of Biomedicine and Health (CDBIO) issued a new report on the impact of artificial intelligence on the doctor-patient relationship, prepared by Brent Mittelstadt, Senior Research Fellow and Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford.

The report examines AI systems regarding the doctor-patient relationship in relation to the human rights principles referred to in the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine of 1997, otherwise known as the “Oviedo Convention”. More specifically, the report investigates the potential human rights impact of AI according to six themes: (1) Inequality in access to high quality healthcare; (2) Transparency to health professionals and patients; (3) Risk of social bias in AI systems; (4) Dilution of the patient’s account of well-being; (5) Risk of automation bias, de-skilling, and displaced liability; and (6) Impact on the right to privacy.

The report was prepared in the framework of the Council of Europe Strategic Action Plan on Human Rights and Technologies in Biomedicine (2020-2025), regarding the governance of technologies and the strategic objective of “Embedding human rights in the development of technologies which have an application in the field of biomedicine”.

The report contributes to the work of a new CDBIO drafting group on AI in healthcare, responsible for preparing further reflections and recommendations to be considered by the CDBIO in 2023-24.

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  • June 2022

Drafting group on AI and healthcare set up by the CDBIO

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