TOOL

AI Blindspots healthcare

How can you take into account societal biases and structural inequalities in the healthcare system that uses artificial intelligence (AI)? To help you do this, the Knowledge Centre Data & Society developed the AI Blindspots healthcare card set.


This card set helps you avoid replicating societal biases and structural inequalities in the AI healthcare system, which is absolutely necessary due to the sensitive nature of the data and the vulnerable status of patients. Every person who is involved in the AI healthcare chain plays an important role in dealing with these blindspots, and therefore this card set will help doctors, nursing staff, managers (legal, financial,...), IT staff, and ethical committee members to proactively detect blindspots and provide strategies to cope with them.

What you should know before reading further


  • Target group: doctors, nursing staff, managers (legal, financial,...), IT staff, and ethical committee members
  • Project phase: problem analysis/ideation, model design, development, implementation, evaluation/iteration
  • Systeem component: entire application and users
  • Price: freely available
  • Language: English

Why would u use the card set?

By using the card set, you are able to create more trustworthy and inclusive AI systems. They allow to:

  • tackle ethical issues;
  • discuss these within your team, and;
  • communicate your actions in this regard with target groups and patients.

How does the card set look like?

The card set contains two card types:

  • The AI Blindspots cards are divided into two categories, i.e. general blindspots (rose cards; useful for all healthcare providers) and specific blindspots (blue cards; more
    relevant for a number of job profiles than for others). Each card presents one blindspot and contains
    • A set of questions to help you uncover this blindspot;
    • A use case that illustrates the importance of considering the blindspot;
    • A number of tools and tricks to help you detect and mitigate the blindspot.
  • The Ethische Dilemma cards (green cards) are examples of healthcare situations in which an ethical issue arises, such as the need to access personal data or incompatible wishes of a patient.

How can you use the card set?

Below you can find an overview of six methods to use the AI Blindspots card set in your health organisation.

As a conversation starter:

  1. A conversation starter for you and your health organisation to discuss the ethical, legal and societal aspects of AI technologies.

During a workshop:

  1. A workshop with your team wherein you focus on one Ethical Dilemma card of your choosing and try to come up with one or several solutions for that particular dilemma. In a later stage, you look at the AI Blindspots cards and see if you can think of other solutions or make one of the already identified solutions more concrete with the help of the cards. > template available (see downloads)
  2. A workshop with your team wherein you first divide the group according to job profile, and wherein the different groups look at the AI Blindspots cards specifically for their profile. You pick one Ethical Dilemma card and each group can think about how to solve the dilemma with the help of their AI Blindspots cards. Second, you discuss these different perspectives together with the general Blindspots cards to come to an integrated solution.
  3. A workshop with your team wherein you identify one of your own Ethical Dilemmas and write it on the Ethical Dilemma joker card. Next, you can jointly think of one or several solutions with the help of the AI Blindspots cards. > template available (see downloads)
  4. A workshop with your team wherein you create requirements for your (future) innovation using a reverse brainstorm. A reverse brainstorm does not aim to solve a problem but rather to make the problem worse. Use the AI Blindspots cards and ask yourself: “How can we ensure to make this blindspot a reality for our (future) innovation?”. After the reversed brainstorm, reverse these unethical measures into requirements for your innovation. > template available (see downloads)

As an evaluation tool:

  1. A double check for you and your team when you are designing, developing or implementing an AI system. Look at the AI Blindspots cards and see if you took into account the possible blindspots. If not, discuss how you and your team will deal with the blindspots.
1

General blindspots

The AI Blindspots cards are divided into two categories, i.e. 'general blindspots' and 'specific blindspots'. 'General blindspots' are relevant and useful to discuss with all healthcare providers. For the 'general blindspots' we identified the following AI Blindspots:

  1. Suitability

  2. Explainability & transparency
  3. Trust
  4. Willingness
  5. Diversity
  6. (Digital) Inequality
  7. Trade-off
  8. Consent
  9. Datafication of health data
  10. Accuracy & quality
  11. Impact on work(floor)

  12. Undesirable impact
  13. Ownership

Click on a blindspot and learn how to detect this blindspot and mitigate it.

2

Specific blindspots

The AI Blindspots cards are divided into two categories, i.e. 'general blindspots' and 'specific blindspots'. 'Specific blindspots' are more relevant and useful to discuss with a number of job profiles in the healthcare sector than others. For the 'specific blindspots' we identified the following AI Blindspots:

    1. Target group: management
      1. Broad discussion
      2. Education & sensibilisation
      3. Large selection
      4. Changing purpose

    2. Target group: management & IT
      1. Standardisation
      2. Data minimisation
      3. Security

    3. Target group: IT
      1. Availability of data
      2. Contextual factors

    4. Target group: doctors, nurses & management
      1. Human vs machine
    5. Target group:ethical committee & management
      1. Data governance & privacy

Click on a blindspot and learn how to detect this blindspot and mitigate it.

Ethical dilemmas

Downloads

And now...?

  • Download the AI Blindspots card set and get started.
  • Download the PDF below with 2 templates to use the AI Blindspots card set. With the first template, you start from an ethical dilemma and use the AI Blindspots cards (workshop method 1 and 2). The second template can be used for a reversed brainstorm with the AI Blindspots card set (workshop method 4). To give you an example of how you can use the templates, the PDF includes a completed template.

This card set is inspired by AI Blindspot of Ania Calderon, Dan Taber, Hong Qu, and Jeff Wen, developed during the Berkman Klein Center and MIT Media Lab’s 2019 Assembly program. The AI Blindspots card set is available under a CC BY 4.0 Licence.

The Knowledge Centre Data & Society adapted the original card set to the Flemish context in order to support the development of trustworthy AI in Flanders.

In a later phase, the Knowledge Centre Data & Society teamed up with VIVES Hogeschool to create a version of the AI Blindspots card set specifically for the healthcare context. VIVES Hogeschool worked on this AI Blindspots card set within the project ‘AI in hospitals: ethical and juridical aspects’, funded by ESF Flanders.