The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences is calling on the Australian Government to invest in the safety and quality of artificial intelligence in healthcare before it is too late.  

Professor Enrico Coiera, founding Director of the Australian Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare (AAAiH), welcomed the release of the Academy’s report today highlighting the opportunities and challenges of introducing artificial intelligence (AI) into healthcare.

The report, ‘Artificial Intelligence in Health: Exploring the Opportunities and Challenges’ was the result of a special the Academy Roundtable where AAAiH members represented almost a third of the attendees and included participants from health, technology, academia, industry and government.

The report highlighted the benefits and opportunities, the risks and challenges as well as “an urgent need for more agile funding structures that facilitate cross-disciplinary research between AI and the health sector.”

“Around the world the level of interest and investment in AI in healthcare is enormous. Australia has the opportunity to learn from those nations that have moved early, but we still need to move quickly“ Academy Fellow and roundtable participant, Professor Coiera, said.

”This emerging world in which AI is part of routine healthcare delivery is one where doctors and patients need to be trained to safely and effectively use the technology. We have seen this play out in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, where AI is helping with diagnosis, disease surveillance and drug development.”

AAAiH is currently creating a National COVID-19 AI Research Platform to support the global and national COVID-19 response using volunteers from within its member base. The Platform will fast track access to and development of clinical AI and data analytic technologies to assist decision making by clinicians, researchers, public health officials, industry, NGOs and government. It will aggregate information about the many different COVID-19 algorithms and data sets available to the community and provide a directory service that matches up skilled researchers with COVID-19 projects. With dedicated funding, this initiative can be fast-tracked to deliver results sooner to decision-makers.