As we are captivated by the capabilities of technology for improving health care, there is an urgent need to take the proverbial deep breath and truly assess how we can reduce the risks of accidental public release of information and misuse associated with data collected, sharing data and errors in the process of developing artificial intelligence algorithms.

The near-public posting of the National Institutes of Health and Google project data on 100,000 X-rays containing personal health-care data that was not removed should set off an alarm. Unfortunately, the excitement of pushing out a novel use of technology makes us forget the importance of prudent thought and well-designed business processes for reducing the risk, in this case, of exposing sensitive data to all.

As big tech gets more involved in health care, we must ensure the profiling done through data analysis and artificial intelligence is done to improve care and does not negatively impact people. Continued timely updating of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and other regulations is important for meeting the changes of how data are used and shared.

Technology in health care should not be hampered by missteps or a focus on the business of health care rather than the service it is.

Merilyn D. Francis, Washington