February 25, 2024

Peter Lee, corporate vice president of research and incubations at Microsoft, addressed healthcare professionals at the IHI Forum. He discussed the good, the bad and the future of AI, emphasizing the need for healthcare professionals to understand the capabilities and limitations of AI. Lee oversees Microsoft’s healthcare and life sciences effort and co-authored a book on the AI revolution in medicine.

He explained that large language models like GPT-4 should be used as a “second set of eyes” for healthcare professionals, particularly in communication with patients. Generative AI has shown promise in various healthcare use cases, from session transcriptions to helping patients understand lab results. However, Lee also warned of the serious risks and limitations of AI, such as potential “hallucinations.”

He stressed the importance of human involvement in AI applications in healthcare and highlighted the need for healthcare professionals to learn from machines in terms of empathetic techniques. While the potential of AI in healthcare is significant, Lee cautioned that it is still early days and that the early real-world deployments of large language models have mostly been in administrative areas rather than clinical decision-making.

In conclusion, Lee emphasized that there is no stopping the advancement of AI in healthcare, but it is crucial for healthcare professionals to approach it with caution and understanding of its capabilities and limitations.

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