This year’s theme “1 goal: health and well-being for all” attracted 15.000 attendees from 106 countries to debate on the future of global health at the World Health Summit. The conference was held from 15 to 17 October 2023 in Berlin and allowed for virtual participation. Our NFDI4Health spokesperson Juliane Fluck was an invited speaker at the panel discussion “Global Health Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics” together with Petra Ritter (Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin), Lothar Wieler (Hasso Plattner Institute), Magali Haas (Cohen Veterans Bioscience), Susan Thomas (Google Health) and Thomas Wiegand (Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute). The session highlighted the potential of AI in revolutionizing healthcare treatment while emphasizing the importance of ethical practices.
In her talk, Juliane Fluck underlined the need for national and global infrastructures in health research and highlighted possible solutions to improve the accessibility of personal health data, e.g. for training AI methods. Using Germany as an example, she stated that in most countries, health data is spread across different institutes and is very heterogeneous regarding content, responsibilities, legal conditions and access. NFDI4Health is developing solutions for the re-use of health data in such a distributed landscape of health data infrastructures that still allow central findability and central data request. Data-holding organizations are also supported by NFDI4Health to establish Local Data Hubs and to participate in distributed data analysis in a privacy preserving way without relinquishing control over the data. According to Juliane Fluck, NFDI4Health strategies and services for building up a national infrastructure will enable access to health data for KI applications, serve as a blueprint for the European Health data space (EHDS), initiate a cultural change and thereby close a gap between science and society. All speakers agreed with the NFDI4Health main thesis that Health AI needs access to health data.
On the sidelines of the World Health Summit, a meeting of Juliane Fluck, Iris Pigeot, Matthias Schulze and Matthias Löbe from NFDI4Health with Adrian Burton from the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) was arranged. ARDC is part of a federally funded National Collaborative Research Infrastructure, which is similar to the German National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). Adrian Burton is in charge of the Health Research Infrastructure Program, which supports data requests and research data management in the framework of a national health data strategy. In the meeting, both consortia presented their programs and identified various overlaps e. g. regarding standards for metadata and requesting data, and distributed data analysis. Both sides expressed great interest in an intercontinental cooperation of NFDI4Health and ARDC.
“Global Health AI and Robotics” Quotes
- Juliane Fluck: “In Germany, we have a big problem: We do not have a unique identifier to link data. Even for the health sector, we cannot link data and this cannot be solved with infrastructure alone. We need a change in the relevant laws and processes to make linkage easy.”
- Lothar Wieler: “In particular, I am happy that I am part of the NFDI4Health initiative of Juliane Fluck, because without setting up these networks in each and every country it will also be hard to bring the world of public health and the world of health care together - when it comes to taking care of patients.”
- Petra Ritter: “We have very strict regulations in order to protect the privacy of individuals, but that doesn’t mean that we cannot use the data. We just need the infrastructure where it is possible to demonstrate compliance. This was lacking and is now build on the European scale.”
Find the digital session “Global Health AI and Robotics” on youtube.
Related press report: heise.de