Health November 29, 2023 - 11:05 am

The Dominican Republic will adapt Health Law to take advantage of Artificial Intelligence

Santo Domingo.- The first National Health and Artificial Intelligence Forum, an initiative by Listín Diario, has successfully convened various local and international health sector stakeholders. The event, aimed at exploring the integration of human talent and artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine, fostered a rich debate about the future of this convergence.

Artificial intelligence has progressively infiltrated broader and more complex fields, revolutionizing traditional methods and enhancing efficiency in various sectors, including health. This evolution in medicine, especially in the Dominican Republic, has been marked by the integration of advanced machines and analysis systems. This progress aligns with the goals set in the National Health Strategic Plan (Plandes 2030), as stated by the Minister of Public Health, Daniel Rivera.

At the forum, Rivera highlighted that AI is rapidly transforming medical practices worldwide. He outlined seven key areas for AI implementation in the Dominican health system, starting with an evaluation of the technological needs of both public and private health systems. He emphasized that AI could significantly enhance medical research, information accessibility, service automation and personalization, and predictive analysis.

Rivera also announced a comprehensive digital health transformation program starting next year, backed by a budget of 900 million pesos. This includes the introduction of a digital health plan, Salud 2030, featuring an electronic medical record system to consolidate patient information. Additionally, the Law 42-01 on Health will be updated to include ethical regulatory frameworks for AI in healthcare.

The minister stressed the importance of transforming health sciences investment programs to incorporate AI training for health professionals. Both the Ministry of Public Health and the National Health Service are expected to undergo digital transformations. Educational programs in medical AI are also planned, alongside the procurement of new equipment and the promotion of public-private sector collaboration.

Addressing concerns about AI replacing doctors, Javier González, Associate President of Education and Director of the Pediatric Education Center in Cincinnati, assured that AI would not replace physicians but rather serve as a supportive tool, especially in medical education. He warned against over-reliance on AI, emphasizing the importance of maintaining human elements in medical training.

Julio Peguero, a cardiology and ultrasound specialist at the Memorial Healthcare System Broward County in Florida and a designer of AI systems for service management, explained that AI intersects with health science in diagnosis, medical analysis, and strategy development. Besides healthcare, AI has applications in robotics, scientific research, transportation, finance, and education.

The forum showcased the transformative potential of AI in healthcare, emphasizing its role as a complementary tool rather than a replacement for human medical professionals.

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