Dr Aaron Lee: Educating Ophthalmology Clinicians on AI Is Crucial

Aaron Lee, MD, an associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Washington, explains why raising the standard of medical knowledge of artificial intelligence (AI) in ophthalmology is important.

Although the people who understand artificial intelligence (AI) best are data scientists and computer programmers, clinicians are going to be the ones using this technology on their patients, said Aaron Lee, MD, an associate professor of ophthalmology at the University of Washington.

Transcript

How can universities ensure their curriculums evolve at the same pace as technological developments in the ophthalmology field?

So that's actually one of my biggest passions, raising the standard of medical knowledge in this space, because I think it's really lacking. It's a new field. The people who understand it the best, right now, are data scientists and computer programmers and not necessarily clinicians. But the clinicians are going to be the ones who are going to be using it on their patients, and they're going to be responsible for all the good and bad that comes with using AI algorithms to affect the health of another human being.

So, learning how to use AI responsibly and ethically and safely requires understanding some of the fundamentals of artificial intelligence. To do that, it would make sense for it to be integrated into medical school curriculums or into residency training itself. I know in the field of radiology, for instance, there's quite a bit of emphasis placed into understanding how artificial intelligence, and, specifically, how deep learning works because their field has transformed so much due to that technology. I think it makes sense for the same thing to happen in the ophthalmology space as well, because our space may actually be ahead of radiology in certain ways of how AI will be used in clinical care.