In April 2019, a high-level expert group on AI set up by the European Commission (EC) published “ Ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI ” And asked the EIT Health to put them to the test to interrogate their practical use and survey its community of healthcare innovators for assessments and feedback. EIT Health presented learnings from the survey during a panel discussion on “The Role of AI in Healthcare Innovation: Ethical Challenges of AI Innovation” at the World Health Summit in Berlin on 27 October 2019. The survey indicated a currently low (22% of respondents ) awareness of the guidelines, among start-ups and entrepreneurs, as well as EIT Health partners from industry, academia and research organizations. Additionally, the report showed both recognition of the importance of ethical regulation as well as insufficient knowledge of the existing regulatory framework.
These guidelines are now further elaborated in a piece written by Prof. Dr. Freimut Schliess, Director of Science and Innovation at Profil GmbH, as a contribution to the January 2020 edition of Open Access Government, a digital publication that provides an in-depth perspective on key public policy areas from all around the world. In his article, Prof. Dr. Freimut Schliess discusses the seven requirements for trustworthy AI: human agency & oversight, technical robustness and safety, privacy & data governance, transparency, diversity, non-discrimination and fairness, societal and environmental well-being and accountability and calls upon European governments to “go ahead in establishing a productive balance between promoting innovation, welcoming global competition and defining healthcare-specific ethical, legal and social requirements for trustworthy AI ”.
In addition to this, Prof. Dr. Freimut Schliess welcomes the idea of establishing “world reference testing facilities for AI and development of digital skills among clinical staff and managers in the health and care sector ”, as stated by Roberto Viola, Director General of DG Connect at the EC. He also believes that EIT Health’s participation in this process is an essential part of EIT Health’s work as a leader in healthcare innovation, by “ providing secured validation environments applying the high ethical and regulatory standards of clinical contract research ”.
The article is available here.