Artificial intelligence, machine learning and health systems
Author(s)Panch, Trishan; Szolovits, Peter; Atun, Rifan
MetadataShow full item record
Globally, health systems face multiple challenges: rising burden of illness, multimorbidity and disability driven by ageing and epidemiological transition, greater demand for health services, higher societal expectations and increasing health expenditures. A further challenge relates to inefficiency, with poor productivity. These health system challenges exist against a background of fiscal conservatism, with misplaced economic austerity policies that are constraining investment in health systems. Fundamental transformation of health systems is critical to overcome these challenges and to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) by 2030. Machine learning, the most tangible manifestation of artificial intelligence (AI) – and the newest growth area in digital technology – holds the promise of achieving more with less, and could be the catalyst for such a transformation. But the nature and extent of this promise has not been systematically assessed. To date, the impact of digital technology on health systems has been equivocal. Is AI the ingredient for such a transformation, or will it face the same fate as earlier attempts at introducing digital technology? In this paper, we explore potential applications of AI in health systems and the ways in which AI could transform health systems to achieve UHC by improving efficiency, effectiveness, equity and responsiveness of public health and health care services.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Journal of Global Health
Edinburgh University Global Health Society
Panch, Trishan, et al. “Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Health Systems.” Journal of Global Health 8, 2 (December 2018): 020303.
Final published version