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Ireland ‘likely’ to co-operate internationally to develop AI health guidance 

By David Lynch - 05th Feb 2024

AI health guidance

Ireland is likely to co-operate with other countries on the development of guidance for use of large multi-modal models (LMMs) in healthcare. LMMs are a type of fast-growing generative artificial intelligence (AI) technology with applications across healthcare.

Last month, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published new guidance on the ethics and governance of LMMs.

The guidance outlines over 40 recommendations for consideration by governments, technology companies, and healthcare providers “to ensure the appropriate use of AI” to promote and protect the health of populations.

“Generative AI technologies have the potential to improve healthcare, but only if those who develop, regulate, and use these technologies identify and fully account for the associated risks,” said Dr Jeremy Farrar, WHO Chief Scientist.

A Department of Health spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) that it “noted” the new WHO publication.

“The WHO guidance also suggests that guidelines should be developed through co-operation between countries and that is likely the route Ireland will follow for health in Ireland,” the spokesperson told MI.

“The Department of Health will also develop and progress the use of AI in health in line with our requirements under current and future regulations in this area.”

The Department’s spokesperson added that the document, Digital for Care – Digital Health Strategic Framework 2024-2030, is in the “final stages of drafting” and will be published before the Health Information Bill.

AI will be covered in the innovation section of the framework, including the need for clinical validation and risk assessment given current and future regulation applicable for the health sector, said the spokesperson. See news feature

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