AI in health: conference to explore risks, ethics and safety

Monday, 13 November, 2023

AI in health: conference to explore risks, ethics and safety

The Australasian Institute for Digital Health’s AIDH AI.Care 2023 conference will discuss the way forward for artificial intelligence (AI) in health care in Australia, including risks, ethics and safety. It will be held from 22–23 November at the Crown Melbourne.

The conference has attracted renowned experts as keynote speakers including German physician Dr Eva Weicken, who is participating in a new WHO Global Initiative on AI for Health (GI-AI4H) and will deliver her opening plenary virtually on seeing global standards for health AI innovation.

AIDH’s interim CEO, Mark Nevin FAIDH, said AI technologies are being proposed for and implemented into clinical care — health professionals and providers should ask themselves if they are ready to work alongside these technologies.

“There have been calls and support for a national strategy to establish guardrails for AI in our sector and safely harness innovations that benefit patient care, with an emphasis on mitigating risks and maintaining human oversight over decisions that impact on health and wellbeing,” he said.

“In the not-too-distant future, most healthcare professions will be using AI in one of its many forms. This requires the workforce to upskill to understand how AI technologies work and how to manage their shortcomings.

“Deployment of AI in health must be guided by ethics, regulations and practical standards developed through collaboration between governments, consumers, academics, industry and peak bodies.”

The conference will showcase examples of how AI is making inroads across health care and explore how technology professionals, policymakers, health services and clinicians can collaborate.

Speakers include:

  • Dr Eva Weicken, Chief Medical Officer at Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute Berlin, who works in the institute’s AI department and has an active role in the United Nations-developed WHO/ITU/WIPO Global Initiative on AI for Health, spearheaded by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
  • Professor Enrico Coiera FAIDH, Director of the Centre for Health Informatics, Australian Institute of Health Innovation and Foundation Professor in Medical Informatics at Macquarie University, whose keynote will discuss a national policy agenda of AI in health care. Medically trained with a Computer Science PhD in AI, he has worked at the intersection of IT and health care for over three decades and is Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Digital Health and founder of the Australian Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.
  • Professor Stacy Carter, who will cover consumer perspectives of AI in health care including consent, privacy and shared decision-making. As Professor of Empirical Ethics in Health and Founding Director of the Australian Centre for Health Engagement, Evidence and Values at the University of Wollongong, her research intersects AI use, detecting disease, and high-quality consumer and community involvement.
  • Senior radiation oncologist Professor Liz Kenny AO, from Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, who was recently chair of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists’ Artificial Intelligence Committee. A University of Queensland School of Medicine Professor, her main interests are complex skin, head, neck and breast cancer. She will discuss the ethics of AI.
  • Dr Sandra Johnson, a Sydney paediatrician with medico-legal and ethics training, who will discuss medico-legal considerations in AI. She believes Australia may need laws that require doctors to advise patients if they are using AI for their care and to seek informed consent and that legislation is likely to be considered in future. World-first legislation is currently being addressed in the European Union (The EU Artificial Intelligence Act).
  • AIDH interim CEO Mark Nevin, who has developed frameworks for the safe deployment of AI in clinical care and became a fellow of the AIDH in recognition of his inaugural work on telehealth and AI. His widespread experience in the digital health community includes application of new technologies in health and serving on Standards Australia’s Artificial Intelligence Standards Committee.
  • Dr Emily Kirkpatrick, Executive Medical Director, Calvary Medibank Joint Venture Virtual Hospital, who will discuss AI implementation in the virtual hospital. The hospital has delivered care across five jurisdictions and more than 200,000 patients across Australia.
  • Tracey Duffy, First Assistant Secretary Medical Devices and Product Quality Division TGA, who will give an overview of regulatory control.
  • Anaesthetist Dr Tanya Kelly CHIA, Acting Deputy Director-General, eHealth Queensland (co-chair).
  • Neville Board FAIDH, Chief Digital Health and Information Officer, Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network NSW (co-chair).

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