Artificial Intelligence | Emerging Trends | ICT4SDG | SDG3
August 2, 2018

How can Artificial Intelligence be used to improve global health?

By Sarah Porter, CEO and Founder of InspiredMinds and World Summit AI

The power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to solve medical problems in the areas of radiology, oncology, surgery, disease prevention, tumour detection, mental health, precision treatment and beyond is phenomenal.

For example, AI has the potential to prevent the spread of communicable diseases to help dramatically reduce the burden on resource-strapped public health infrastructures worldwide.

In 2017, researchers in Singapore developed an algorithm to forecast dengue outbreaks. By marrying historic climate information with previous seasonal patterns of dengue, the AI has allowed the prediction of outbreaks up to four months in advance.

What could AI applications have done for SARS ($14.8bn cost), Swine Flu, Ebola or Zika?

AI has tremendous potential power in cancer, too. Neural networks have already been shown to accurately predict melanoma, diagnose prostate cancer and increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment drugs.

How many lives lost to cancer could have been saved if AI could have detected the disease earlier?

AI’s ability to save costs and lives is huge but of course ethics and governance is critical, and, as always, it’s not just about the tech. Clinicians will need retrained, and what do doctors become if machines are better at diagnosis?

What are the ethical risks?

The truth is we don’t yet know the answers to all these questions – but thousands and thousands of micro and macro investigations are being carried out by hospitals, clinicians governments, NGOs and data scientists worldwide to find out.

The Intelligent Health Summit (Basel, September 12th-13th 2018) is the global meeting of the entire AI health ecosystem, including these investigators, who are coming to present their innovations, challenges, findings and solutions. The Summit will host a unique group of clinicians, regulators, technologists and C-Suite executives from pharma, biotech, medtech, health provision, insurance and investment, as well as the biggest national hospitals and health systems in Europe, and the top health regulators in the US (FDA) and Europe.

Topics include:

  • AI in R&D, clinical trial research and drug discoveries
  • AI in keeping well and preventative care
  • AI in early detection and diagnostics
  • AI in decision support, treatment and disease management
  • AI in genomics and precision/personalised medicine
  • AI in child health and mental health

Speakers include Bakul Patel, Associate Centre Director for Digital Health at the FDA, Salvatore Scalzo, Policy and Legal Officer at the European Commission as well as AI leaders from Novartis, UNICEF, NHS England, the World Health Organization and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. The Intelligent Health Summit will also include participation from the newly formed ITU Focus Group on AI for Health.

“I’m excited to attend a summit that addresses the practical uses of AI and any ethical implications. I’m looking forward to meeting innovative and dynamic thinkers who’ll challenge the way we think” said Farzana Rahman, Consultant Radiologist UCLH and Clinical Advisor, Data and Digital Strategy Lead at NHS Digital and The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

Intelligent Health will also host the first closed-door Clinect 50 meeting formed of 50 clinicians and technologists who are tackling some of the world’s greatest medical challenges through tech, in areas from oncology to diabetes, mental health to surgery, self care to patient privacy and data management.

There are limited tickets available. Secure your place online now using the promo code ITU50 for a 50% discount on tickets and don’t hesitate to contact the IH team if you have any questions.

Sarah Porter is CEO and Founder of InspiredMinds and World Summit AI.


  • Was this article Helpful ?
  • yes   no
© International Telecommunication Union 1865-2018 All Rights Reserved.
ITU is the United Nations' specialized agency for information and communication technology. Any opinions expressed and statistics presented by third parties do not necessarily reflect the views of ITU.

How can Artificial Intelligence be used to improve global health?

Send this to a friend