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01/07/2024
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the priority topics for many people throughout Europe who work in the health and care fields. It is high on the list of domains on which EHTEL members are focusing too. 
 
Among the chief actors involved is the European Commission
 
At this 13 June 2024 meeting, run by the Healthy Europe group, the primary messages of the European Commission on AI were structured around "three pillars".  

 

Three primary next steps on AI in Europe

At this meeting, the primary messages of the European Commission on AI were structured around "three pillars".  
 
AI needs to :  
 
  • Be based on data of the appropriate quality and quantity
    • In relation to healthcare, look at for what will be happening in terms of activities on the European Health Data Space (EHDS). For more information on this data space, see this website.
  • Be based on developments that need to be safe:
    • The answer lies in the AI Act. For information on this first-ever legal instrument.
    • The European Council has already given its 'green light' to this risk-based flagship legislation on 21 May 2024.
  • "Leave the shelf" and be used in actual clinical practice.

 

To progress work on this topic further, the European Commission:

  • Is launching a survey entitled the Deployment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare.
  • Will launch a call for proposals in September 2024, which is then due to close in January 2025: “DI-g-24-76 Call for proposals on advancing the adoption of artificial intelligence in health”
 
Practically speaking, the European Commission now has a newly created European AI Office, which will employ up to 140 members of staff. The office will include several units that deal with hot topics like AI and robotics, AI and safety, and AI for societal good.   
AI OFFICE banner web
 Source: European AI Office

 

In preparation: two useful reports 

 
Two reports that are likely to be of interest include: 
 
  • An April 2024 EuroNews article, using data published by a European Joint Research Centre that provides figures on:

- How Europe's Member States are using two financial instruments to invest in digital transformation: the Next Generation EU (NGEU) fund and the Resilience and Recovery Facility (RRF). 
- How much funding is being used on AI as well as electronic health records. 
- Which European Member States are leading the way in Europe through their investments. The two countries in the vanguard are Italy and Spain!

 

What is EHTEL itself doing?

EHTEL encourages you to: 
 
  • Urgently complete the ongoing survey on AI, run by the European Commission, aimed at AI developers. Give your views on what actions might be facilitated by the Commission to generate more efficient and effective use of AI in healthcare deployment.
  • As an EHTEL member, get involved in EHTEL 's overall work on the EHDS, e.g., its implementation-oriented task force. One its strands of activity is likely to be on AI!
  • Learn about, and collaborate with, the work of EHTEL members who are already keenly interested, and involved, in AI use in healthcare
    • One example is Italian company, Kelyon, which has worked on the AI4NEF project, has been notably mentioned by DIGITAL EUROPE, and which recently won a top award for its work. Indeed, Kelyon Solution Analyst, Marco Benedetto commented recently: "Data is essential both for regulators and developers."
 

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