Digital innovations and new technology hold much promise to revolutionize the delivery of health services and leapfrog development challenges to accelerate progress towards UHC. There is increasing evidence that artificial intelligence has the potential to improve population health, improve individual health outcomes, lower health system costs, improve the patient experience and interaction with the health system and her/his own health, and improve the health workforce experience with service delivery.
However, these innovations raise several important concerns. This includes the lack in volume and quality of data to enable unbiased machine learning algorithms; risk of overwhelming already fragile systems; issue of equitable access; the cost of these technologies and unreasonable intellectual property rights barriers; unlinked and fragmented technological systems; and importantly ethical concerns and risks regarding patients’ confidentiality.
Knowing the right approach to take along the expansion path is challenging. Ensuring that countries make use of innovation and artificial intelligence (AI) in ways that supports their efforts to create client-centered health systems that can deliver on UHC will require wisdom and finesse.
This session will debate whether artificial intelligence and digital health innovations are ripe to leapfrog progress towards UHC in low- and middle-income countries, examining the potential opportunities but also the substantive risks.