Biden orders HHS to take wide-ranging action on artificial intelligence in health care

November 01, 2023

The Biden administration this week issued a landmark executive order on artificial intelligence (AI). The order establishes new standards for AI safety and security, protects Americans’ privacy, advances equity and civil rights, stands up for consumers and workers, promotes innovation and competition, advances American leadership around the world, and more.

The order, among other things, requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to take wide-ranging action on artificial intelligence in health care, including:

  • Advancing the responsible use of AI in health care and the development of affordable and life-saving drugs.
  • Establishing a safety program to receive reports of – and act to remedy – harms or unsafe health care practices involving AI.  
  • Catalyzing AI research across the United States through a pilot of the National AI Research Resource to provide researchers and students access to key AI resources and data.
  • Expanding grants for AI research in vital areas like health care and climate change.

The order requires HHS secretary to work with the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to establish an HHS AI Task Force and within one year develop a strategic plan that includes policies and frameworks — possibly including regulatory action, as appropriate — on responsible deployment and use of AI and AI-enabled technologies in the health and human services sector (including research and discovery, drug and device safety, health care delivery and financing, and public health).

The California Medical Association (CMA) has also identified AI as one of the most important issues affecting members, the association and the practice of medicine – selecting AI as one of this year’s “major issues” to be addressed by the CMA House of Delegates (HOD). The draft report, which is not CMA policy until taken up by the HOD or the Board of Trustees, can be viewed by members at cmadocs.org/hod/reports.


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