AI in health – our recap from the World Health Assembly

June 10, 2024

As a techy global health foundation, we followed the discussions about AI in health at the World Health Assembly last week with interest.

Here’s our summary of headline themes from across different sessions!

  • We all have a moral obligation to make AI work to make health accessible for all. AI tools can help solve health workforce shortages, information overload and manage the rising burden of NCDs to name but a few applications.
  • Focus on the ‘pain points’ where AI can make a big difference in the health system (e.g. screening and diagnosis of cancers or diabetes, chest X-Rays for TB ) demonstrate its value and build trust.
  • AI tools won’t help anyone if they’re not based on reliable, diverse and representative data sets reflecting the populations they’re being used in.
  • AI is primarily about augmenting human capabilities in global health not replacing humans. For example, there’s A LOT of reporting and information in healthcare, so use generative AI speech to text to reduce this work for healthcare providers – meaning more time for patients!
  • ‘Do no harm’ must remain the first priority by always using AI ethically and safely – requires not just common regulatory frameworks but also regulatory institutions to manage it.