WHO report: health care has AI use cases and six keys to tackling potential health disparities from AI

The report, Ethics and governance of artificial intelligence for health, is the first global report to be produced on the topic of AI in healthcare.

The report highlighted that there are opportunities to benefit from AI, but the report also indicated that there are risks of misuse and harm (as there are with any tech). The intent of the report is also to be a guide on how to avoid those misuses and eliminate disparities.

One of the benefits for health care from AI is that providers can enhance the speed and accuracy of screening patients for diseases.

Another benefit is the motivation of patients to be engaged in the process because AI improves their understanding of their individual, healthcare needs. AI helps to deal with the gaps in access to healthcare from which rural communities and poor countries suffer, tackling health disparities and inequities.

Furthermore, WHO’s report highlights the potential health disparities that could arise out of the use of AI in health care. Systems of AI are usually trained predominantly on data gathered out of issues face by high-income patients which will not deal as adequately with the issues faced by individuals from low-income and/or middle-income settings.

According to WHO, the following are the principles for regulating AI in order to deal with health disparities:

  • Preserve human autonomy
  • Promote the well-being of humanity, safety of people, and public interest
  • Maintain and make sure there is explainability, transparency, and intelligibility
  • Promote an atmosphere of accountability and responsibility
  • Make sure that there is equity and inclusion
  • Promote AI that is sustainable and responsive

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