ICMR Releases India’s First Ethical Guidelines for AI in Healthcare

ICMR Releases India’s First Ethical Guidelines for AI in Healthcare

The Department of Health Research and the Artificial Intelligence Cell of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have released the initial ethical guidelines for applying artificial intelligence (AI) in biomedical research and healthcare in India.

According to a document drafted by the two organisations, AI for health considerably depends on data obtained from human participants and invokes additional concerns related to potential biases, data handling, interpretation, autonomy, risk minimization, professional competence, data sharing, and confidentiality. “It is therefore imperative to have an ethical framework that addresses issues specific to AI for biomedical research and healthcare,” the guidelines stated.

AI as data-driven technology has many potential ethical challenges which include algorithmic transparency and explainability, clarity on liability, accountability and oversight, bias and discrimination, said ICMR Director General Dr Rajiv Behl. “These guidelines will provide the ethical framework for the development of AI-based tools which will benefit all stakeholders, including innovators, developers, patients, technologists, researchers, healthcare professionals, ethics committees, sponsors and funding agencies involved in research related to AI in biomedical research and healthcare,” he said.

The induction of AI into healthcare can be the solution for challenges such as diagnosis and screening, therapeutics, preventive treatments, clinical decision-making, public health surveillance, complex data analysis, and predicting disease outcomes, the document said.