American Telemedicine Association Publishes Principles of AI

Psychiatric TimesVol 40, Issue 12

The ATA published these principles “to ensure trustworthy development, integration, and utilization of AI in order to maximize its potential benefits as a meaningful tool for patients and providers.”



As interest in artificial intelligence (AI) in health care continues to grow, various stakeholders have expressed a mixture of excitement and concern. Now, to address the AI revolution, the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has published principles “to ensure trustworthy development, integration, and utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) in order to maximize its potential benefits as a meaningful tool for patients and providers.”

The artificial intelligence principles were published the day President Joe Biden issued an executive order with new standards for safety, security, privacy, and equity in AI.1,2

“With today’s executive order issued by President Biden, to ensure the safe, secure, and trustworthy use of artificial intelligence, our timely release of the ATA’s AI Principles can help chart the way forward as the Administration works to create new standards for AI’s potentially game-changing capabilities,” Kyle Zebley, ATA senior vice president for public policy, said in a news release.

“AI is already being used in telehealth and its future potential is endless, especially to harness the reams of data that our health care system produces, including data collected from virtual care technologies, to improve health care delivery.”1

ATA’s declaration of principles for responsible use including several important tenets, as follows:

  • Transparency and explanations. Disclosures should clearly explain how data are used.
  • Safeguards to mitigate bias. AI should seek to eliminate, not worsen, health care disparities arising from bias and institutional racism in traditional health care.
  • Clear regulatory guardrails. A “unified AI regulatory framework at the federal level is essential for consistent compliance” at the national level. States should align their rules with federal rules and other states.
  • Economic and workforce evolution. Current and upcoming health care professionals must be educated on the importance of AI integration and best practices. They must be actively involved in the AI adoption decision-making process.
  • Privacy. AI privacy policies should mirror privacy policies and practices across the health care system.

ATA’s Data Work Group will create a plan “to keep personal health information secure and protected from misuses,” Zebley said. He noted that the group is led by Aaron T. Maguregui, senior counsel of Foley & Lardner LLP, and its AI committee is led by Mujadala (MJ) Abdul-Majid, strategy counsel at Google.

“The ATA supports policies, practices, and regulatory frameworks that enhance patient and provider trust, safety, and the efficacy of AI adoption as a tool in health care,” Zebley said. “The ATA and the ATA’s Data Work Group believe that utilizing AI in health care—including telehealth—can improve quality and service capability at every stage of the care journey. We stand ready to work with the administration, Congress and other key stakeholders to advance the safe, appropriate and responsible use of AI in health care.”

Meanwhile, the president directed that his administration should “advance the responsible use of AI in health care and the development of life-saving drugs.”3

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will “establish a safety program to receive reports of – and act to remedy – harms or unsafe health care practices involving AI,” the president’s announcement said.3 It did not include details about a new HHS program or protocol.


1. American Telemedicine Association publishes new artificial intelligence (AI) principles. News release. American Telemedicine Association. October 30, 2023. Accessed November 6, 2023.

2. ATA Policy Council. The ATA’s artificial intelligence (AI) principles. October 2023. Accessed November 6, 2023.

3. The White House. Fact sheet: President Biden issues executive order on safe, secure, and trustworthy artificial intelligence. October 30, 2023. Accessed November 6, 2023.


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