Health Ministry to use AI in public health

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

The Union Health Ministry is working towards using Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a safe and effective way in public health.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in Lok Sabha on July 12 that to address gaps in India’s AI ecosystem and realise its economic impact, the central government has prioritised building AI technology capabilities.

“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.

Mr. Vardhan said a few of the initiatives undertaken by the central 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 a 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 said the NITI Aayog is working on using AI for early detection of diabetic retinopathy.

He added that the NITI Aayog is currently in the process of developing institutional mechanism, funding framework and other such steps to realise India’s AI aspirations. NITI Aayog, after consultation with various ministries and leading academicians, institutions, practitioners and industry players, released India’s National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence in June 2018.

“Through the strategy and subsequent initiatives, the key recommendations in AI are being pursued,” he said.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 7:27:13 PM |

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