Miller-Meeks says V.A. needs guidelines for A.I.

WASHINGTON — Iowa Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks says the government-run Veterans Administration hospitals and clinics need to develop a ‘cohesive strategy” to keep up what’s happening in the private sector when it comes to artificial intelligence.

“While progress tends to be incremental, occasionally a process or technology emerges that pushes our boundaries out significantly,” Miller-Meeks says. “The integration of artificial intelligence or augmented intelligence in health care offers this opportunity.”

Miller-Meeks says there appear to be pitfalls in A.I. when it comes to data privacy, but A.I. could help quickly and accurately diagnose health issues and predict patient risks and save money. Miller-Meeks suggests clear guidelines for human input is critical, however.

“If the data A.I. learns from is incorrect or biased, it can make incorrect, predictions that result in over or under diagnosis or mistreatment,” Miller-Meeks says.

The Veterans Health Administration is the country’s largest health system, with 172 hospitals and over 1100 clinics. “While A.I. holds great promise, the reality is it’s a new, developing technology and we’re still figuring out what is possible and practical and ethical,” Miller-Meeks says.

Miller-Meeks, a Republican who represents Iowa’s first congressional district, is an eye doctors and an Army veteran. She made her comments during a hearing hosted by the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health.