Govt Eyes ‘Safe Use’ Of AI In Public Health

The Union Health Ministry is working towards using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a safe and effective way in public health in the country, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in Lok Sabha on Friday.

The minister also informed that the Central government has prioritised building AI technology capabilities to address gaps in India’s AI ecosystem and realise its economic impact.

“The potential of AI in public health is being explored in our country. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is working towards using AI in a safe and effective way in public health in India,” he said during Question Hour.

Vardhan said few of the initiatives undertaken by the government to use AI in public health are: Imaging Biobank for Cancer for which the NITI Aayog with Department of Bio-Technology (DBT) aims to build database of cancer related radiology and pathology images of more than 20,000 profiles of cancer patients with focus on major cancers prevalent in India.

He added that NITI Aayog was also working on using AI for early detection of diabetic retinopathy.

The minister said at present, NITI Aayog was in the process of developing institutional mechanism, funding framework and other such steps to realise India’s AI aspirations.

Vardhan said the NITI Aayog had released India’s National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence in June 2018 after extensive consultation with various ministries and leading academicians, institutions, practitioners and industry players.

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