In an attempt to raise India’s bar in AI in health, the Union Health Ministry is working towards using Artificial Intelligence in a safe and effective way in public health. In an attempt to address the gaps in India’s healthcare system, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in the Lok Sabha that the central government has prioritised building AI technology capabilities.
Government think tank NITI Aayog has already taken a slew of initiatives related to the use of AI in public health such as building a database of cancer-related radiology and pathology images of more than 20,000 profiles of cancer patients. NITI Aayog has also done considerable work on diabetic retinopathy and as per news is also in the process of building a mechanism in collaboration with institutions, academicians, industry players and ministries.
A news report cited Union Health Minister saying during the Question Hour, “Considerable moves have been taken to improve the public health in the country. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) is working towards the use of AI in a safe and effective way in public health in India”.
AI in healthcare has tremendous potential and the government wants to bridge the accessibility gap for the poor. AI can exponentially improve patient outcomes, for example, applications like telemedicine can enable patients to get the right consultations in cases where healthcare is inaccessible. AI can help solve the infrastructure challenges countries like India face in healthcare.