The Coalition for Health AI, a community of academic health systems, organizations, and expert practitioners in AI and data science launched in spring 2022, will convene in mid-October to finalize its framework in order to share recommendations by the end of the year.
Members of the coalition include Change Healthcare, Duke AI Health, Google, Johns Hopkins University, Mayo Clinic, Microsoft, MITRE, Stanford Medicine, UC Berkeley, and UC San Francisco.
The coalition is seeking to identify priority areas where standards, best practices, norms and guidance needs to be developed to frame for directions in research, technology, and policy. The coalition said it intends to advance AI for healthcare with a careful eye on health equity, aiming to address algorithmic bias.
In its first two-day convening, the coalition focused on the foundational themes of bias, equity and fairness in its first in a series of workshops aimed at developing guidelines for the responsible use of AI in healthcare.
The result was a 15-page topic paper—published for public input—that summarized presentations, group discussions, and breakout sessions addressing the following topics: Health Equity by Design; Bias and Fairness Processes and Metrics; and Impacting Marginalized Groups: Mitigation Strategies for Data, Model, and Application Bias.
“We are pleased to see such energetic engagement throughout our first meeting, and also to be able to benefit from a diverse range of knowledge and opinions. It’s especially encouraging to see the group’s strong commitment to making equity the cornerstone of the ethical framework we are trying to build for AI in healthcare,” said Michael Pencina, Ph.D., co-founder of the coalition and director of Duke AI Health, in a statement. “Although AI has the potential to elevate care for everyone, we cannot take that for granted. It’s essential that all stakeholders—physicians, scientists, researchers, programmers, manufacturers, and patients—are able to contribute meaningfully to building better health outcomes for everyone.”
“Application of AI brings a tremendous benefit for patient care, but so is its potential to exacerbate inequity in healthcare,” said John Halamka, M.D., president, Mayo Clinic Platform and co-founder of the coalition, in a statement. “The guidelines for ethical use of an AI solution cannot be an afterthought. Our coalition experts share commitment to ensure patient-centered and stakeholder-informed guidelines can achieve equitable outcomes for all populations.”
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is now serving as a third federal observer of the coalition, officially joining the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.
The coalition is working to build a toolset and guidelines that apply throughout the patient care journey—from chat bots to patient records—and ensures no population is left behind or adversely affected by algorithmic bias.