Artificial intelligence and health, according to WHO.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published the document Regulatory considerations on Artificial Intelligence for health to promote a safe, effective and responsible use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the health field.

This text provides guidance to public authorities on the use of AI in healthcare and is an integral part of the WHO’s global digital health strategy for the period 2020-2025.

Artificial intelligence offers an opportunity for healthcare.
The healthcare industry can benefit from AI’s unique opportunities, which enhance efficiency and accuracy in disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring. The WHO emphasises the positive potential of AI in enhancing services in underserved communities, improving public health oversight, promoting drug research and development, support the management of healthcare systems and assist professionals in complex diagnoses, optimizing care and care paths.

It’s important to remember that the rapid adoption of these technologies, sometimes without a complete understanding of their impact on end users, can lead to challenges.

Instruments to establish regulations for the use of AI in healthcare
WHO, in collaboration with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), has established a Focus Group on Artificial Intelligence for Health (FG-AI4H) to facilitate the safe and adequate use of AI, ensuring the protection of sensitive data and the security of all those involved in health activities.

In addition, the WHO has identified six key areas that need to be taken into account to define an AI regulation applied to healthcare.

  • The documentation for AI projects needs to be transparent
  • Risk management is necessary throughout all phases of the life cycle.
  • The intended purpose and validation of both analytical and clinical methods
  • The accuracy of the data collected
  • Data protection and privacy
  • Facilitate collaboration among regulatory bodies, patients, healthcare professionals, industry representatives, and government partners.

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