Beijing is planning to prohibit the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in generating online medical prescriptions, according to a draft rule released by the city’s health authorities. The rule aims to regulate the management of medicine in online medical services and seeks to safeguard patients’ well-being. In line with this objective, the draft rule includes several measures, such as forbidding the provision of medicine before a prescription is made and prohibiting the use of prescription inventory statistics for commercial purposes.
The draft rule, which consists of 41 articles, establishes guidelines for various stakeholders involved in internet-based medical services, including hospitals, doctors, patients, and supervisors. Notably, doctors who offer online medical diagnosis will be required to have practiced clinical medicine for a minimum of three years. To ensure their authenticity, doctors must register with their real names before attending to patients online, preventing any impersonation or misuse of AI technology.
Additionally, doctors are obliged to inform patients about the necessity of providing genuine identification information and refrain from impersonating others during the medical consultation process. The rules stipulate that if doctors determine a patient to be unsuitable for online diagnosis, they should promptly cease online services and guide the patients to physical hospitals for further assistance.
Regarding medical records generated through online services, the rules propose that they should be retained for at least 15 years. Furthermore, the entire diagnostic process, including conversations, audio, and video records, should be preserved for a minimum of three years. To ensure accountability, the draft rule emphasizes the need for traceability in the prescription chain, from prescribing medications to order-picking at the pharmacy and delivery.
Moreover, the commission responsible for these regulations requires internet medical facilities to disclose their fees for reference, thereby promoting transparency. The rules also extend to internet-based services the restrictions on fees for practitioners, such as banning for-profit patient referrals and mandatory purchasing of medicine or consumables from designated locations.
To gather feedback and ensure the comprehensive consideration of public opinions, the Beijing Health Commission has invited the public to express their views on the draft rules until September 16.
By proposing these regulations, Beijing aims to establish a robust framework for internet-based medical services while prioritizing patient safety, data integrity, and the ethical use of AI technology. These measures not only enhance the credibility and reliability of online consultations but also contribute to the overall development of the healthcare industry in the digital age.
Keywords: Beijing, AI-generated online medical prescriptions, draft rule, internet-based medical services, regulations, guidelines, patient safety, data integrity, AI technology, healthcare industry.