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It was a slight departure from the usual Consumer Electronics Show panel: Rather than touting the latest health gadgets that attendees have come to expect from the annual Las Vegas tech bonanza, panelists at a session on trust in AI for health care grappled with how to ensure the tools don’t worsen inequality or create new problems for health care providers.

The virtual discussion Tuesday comes as AI is becoming ever more present in medical care — and as the field navigates how to build trust in experimental tools. It is a topic being wrestled with by regulators, health workers, and developers alike, and its presence at CES could be seen as a sign that the industry recognizes the need for more transparency about how the tools work.


The field of clinical AI tools, including those that predict hospitalized patients’ risk of death or sudden deterioration, is developing at such a rapid clip that regulation has fallen behind. That has resulted in individual health systems rolling out the tools without a standardized approach to educating their staff — feeding feelings of fear, doubt, and hesitancy among health workers.

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