DHCRC urges national AI in healthcare strategy for precise regulation

In response to the Australian Government’s call for input on Safe and Responsible AI in Australia, the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC) has highlighted the necessity of a National AI in Healthcare Strategy. The strategy, initially proposed by the Australian Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare (AAAiH), aims to establish a comprehensive framework for the development, testing, and ethical implementation of AI in the healthcare sector.

DHCRC’s Chief Innovation Officer, Dr Stefan Harrer, a pioneer in responsible AI design, emphasised the urgency of government-led action to support AI development while ensuring ethical and safe utilisation. The proposed strategy places responsibility with the Department of Health and Aged Care, Digital Health, and the Therapeutic Goods Administration, in collaboration with both public and private healthcare stakeholders.

Dr Harrer recently authored a world-first comprehensive ethical framework for the responsible design, development, and use of generative AI technology in health and medicine and an accompanying guide suggesting regulatory and governance approaches to implementing it. Read it here…

Dr Harrer’s framework advocates for a “precision regulation” approach, focusing on governing AI deployment in specific use cases rather than regulating the technology itself. This adaptable approach is deemed essential to keep up with the rapid evolution of AI technologies and applications.

“Only regulation that focuses on outcomes rather than technology will be able to keep up and adapt to changing conditions quickly and efficiently.”

DHCRC’s Chief Innovation Officer, Dr Stefan Harrer

DHCRC is actively working on a risk-assessment framework for AI in healthcare, aiming to balance potential benefits against associated risks. CEO Annette Schmiede welcomed the government’s engagement in this critical discourse, highlighting the collaborative efforts required among technology providers, healthcare institutions, universities, and the government to ensure AI’s responsible and beneficial integration into healthcare services.

“It will require technology providers, the health industry, universities, and government to work closely together to ensure the ultimate applications of AI in health benefit all stakeholders and most importantly deliver value to patients. This is exactly the style of collaboration that the DHCRC was established to facilitate,” Ms Schmiede added.


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