NHS plan to AI generate patient notes draws criticism

Occurred: March 2024

The UK national Health Service (NHS) faced criticism over its plan to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) for automatically generating patient notes during medical appointments.

According to UK Health Secretary Victoria Atkins, the scheme will see AI automatically generate notes in the background during appointments and will improve productivity by cutting the time medics spend doing paperwork.

Privacy experts argued the 'creepy' plan could reduce privacy, make patients hesitant to share sensitive or embarrassing medical information during consultations, and negatively impact doctor-patient trust. It would also raise difficult ethical questions about confidentiality and patient consent, critics said.

A demonstration of the system showed the system mistakingly interpreting Ms Atkins saying England chief media officer 'Chris Whitty' as 'Christmas', fueling concerns about its accuracy and reliability - which are considered essential in a medical setting.

System 🤖

Developer: National Health Service (NHS)
Country: UK
Sector: Health
Purpose: Transcribe medical notes
Technology: Machine learning
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Confidentiality; Privacy