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Congress Seeks to Understand AI in Health Care

The House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee held a hearing on Wednesday, November 29, titled "Understanding How AI is Changing Health Care." The Hearing focused on real world AI success in health care and ensuring appropriate guardrails to deploy AI safety and effectively. One witness, Christopher Longhurst, MD, MS, Chief Medical Officer & Chief Digital Officer of UC San Diego Health, is an AMIA member, though he was not formally representing AMIA. Dr. Longhurst shared how AI can enhance quality and patient safety.

Watch the Hearing

AMA Issues New Principles for AI Development, Deployment, and Use

The American Medical Association (AMA) released new principles for augmented intelligence, development, deployment, and use in an effort toward fostering a consistent governance structure for advancements in health care technology. 

AMA’s key principles are: 

  • Oversight 
  • Transparency 
  • Disclosure and Documentation
  • Generative AI 
  • Privacy and Security
  • Bias Mitigation

See AMA’s Principles

Apply to the Federation of American Scientists’ Extreme Heat Policy Challenge by December 18 

Members of AMIA’s Discussion Forum on Climate, Health, and Informatics invite other AMIA members to apply to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) and focus on using technology to monitor and address heat stress. The FAS is launching the Extreme Heat Policy Sprint to develop high-impact policy recommendations and memos to comprehensively address the extreme heat crisis. FAS will work with the cohort of experts to synthesize these recommendations and deliver them to the Interagency Working Group on Extreme Heat and targeted agencies to drive policy uptake.
The goal of the Extreme Heat Policy Sprint is to surface innovative, actionable policy proposals to build federal capacity to address extreme heat.

Selected participants will have the opportunity to develop their ideas with guidance from an FAS team of advisors, meet with veteran policymakers and experts in the field to think strategically about policy implementation, join a community of thinkers working on similar issues, and present their recommendations to federal policy leaders. 
FAS Program Manager Grace Wickerson


National Institutes of Health RFI on Updating the NIH Mission Statement 

AMIA submitted comments to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in response to a Request for Information (RFI) inviting suggestions on the proposed update to their mission statement. The input NIH sought for the new mission statement includes, but is not limited to, feedback on the statement’s reflection of the goals and objectives in the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2025 and suggestions for specific language that could be added to the proposed mission statement and why. 
It currently reads as:

  • "To seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability."

The proposed mission statement: 

  • "To seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to optimize health and prevent or reduce illness for all people." 

AMIA’s comments focused on ensuring NIH’s updated mission statement focuses on advancing evidence-based knowledge and the value of science. The comments were submitted via form rather than letter. 

View AMIA’s answers to the form

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

Disincentives for Health Care Providers Committing Information Blocking 

Health and Humans Services (HHS), The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and CMS have released a proposed rule that is the first step for holding health care providers accountable for information blocking. The proposed rule would apply to certain health care providers that have been found to have committed information blocking by the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG). Public comment deadline for the proposed rule is January 2.

NIH RFI – Consent Language for Research Using Digital Health Technologies 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is requesting information regarding the useability of sample language for use in informed consent documents for digital health technologies utilized in research. NIH is interested in input on the specific language proposed in the informed consent sample language and any gaps or additions that should be included. Additionally, NIH is looking for any potential hurdles or barriers to the voluntary use by the community, and other feedback relevant to this resource.

NIH did express this resource is completely voluntary. Response to RFI due by December 12. View RFI text. 

FDA Creating Digital Health Advisory Committee 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is calling for nominations for its new Digital Health Advisory Committee. This Committee will provide advice on scientific and technical issues related to digital health technologies (DHTs) including regulation and their use. DHT topics could consist of AI/ML, augmented reality, virtual reality, digital therapeutics, wearables, remote patient monitoring, and software. The Committee would advise the FDA Commissioner on issues related to DHTs, for example, real-world data, real-world evidence, patient-generated health data, interoperability, use of DHTs in clinical trials for medical products, cybersecurity, DHT user experience, and Agency policies and regulations regarding these technologies. FDA plans for this new committee to begin in 2024. 
The FDA is accepting applications for nominations until December 11.
Learn more and see how to apply: FDA Digital Health Advisory Committee | FDA

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AMIA’s Washington Download is your source for health informatics policy news and information from around the Beltway, covering action from the Hill, the Administration, and important AMIA collaborators.