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Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME) Forum for Global Health Ethics

Webinar on the Power of Artificial Intelligence for Health Equity

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an umbrella term used to refer to a collection of technologies prominently based on machine learning algorithms – rules that use statistical methods to automatically learn and infer patterns from data. In healthcare, the use of AI technologies has enabled fast and scalable analysis of complex data and has started to impact clinical decision-making. For instance, machine- and deep-learning algorithms are being used to predict clinical outcomes, aiming to optimise the allocation of hospital palliative care resources. AI applications that involve pattern recognition using deep neural networks are currently helping healthcare professionals to interpret medical scans and images in the fields of radiology, neurology, pathology, dermatology, ophthalmology, gastroenterology, and cardiology. Also, direct-to-consumer AI technologies embedded in smartwatches and smartphones are used to detect atrial fibrillation, to identify ear infections, migraine headaches and retinal diseases, and to help patients deal with common chronic conditions, such as depression, hypertension, and asthma.

AI is expected to become a prominent technology in the healthcare domain. What role will it play regarding health equity? Will AI help societies improve equity, or will it exacerbate or create further inequities? Our speakers discussed the role AI plays in health equity, how to ensure an equitable distribution of the health benefits of AI, the importance of integrating socio-cultural factors into AI, and offered some key recommendations for stakeholders.

María Paz Canales, Derechos Digitales, Human Rights in the Digital Environment
Markus Christen, Digital Society Initiative, University of Zurich
Andreas Reis, Co-lead Health Ethics & Governance Unit, World Health Organization

Hosts: Nikola Biller-Andorno & Tania Manríquez Roa, University of Zurich

Organising institutions: University of Zurich (IBME & DSI) and  Swiss Medical Weekly

Organisers: Tania Manríquez Roa, Nikola Biller-Andorno, Dominik Bolliger, Andreas Reis, and Markus Christen

Read the viewpoint «The pursuit of health equity in the era of artificial intelligence» by Tania Manríquez Roa, Markus Christen, Andreas Reis, and Nikola Biller-Andorno

Read the webinar report «The power of artificial intelligence for advancing health equity» by Ekaterina Muhl (This text was originally published in the EACME Newsletter n63, May 2023)

Here you can watch clips of this webinar.

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