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Artificial Intelligence for Global Health (AI4GH) is a five-year, CAD15.5 million investment from IDRC. It funds researchers in the Global South to strengthen health systems by leveraging contextualized responsible artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to improve sexual, reproductive and maternal health for women and girls and support more effective and equitable preparedness and responses to epidemics and pandemics.

The challenge 

The use of AI is transforming how health systems are planned and how health services are delivered globally, including across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). When AI solutions are implemented using people-centred and rights-based approaches, they can create efficiencies and accelerate achievement of the health-related Sustainable Development Goals. AI-enabled solutions can be used in various aspects of the health system, from public health monitoring to point-of-care services. 

Despite the promise of AI to improve global health, there are important ethical, legal and social implications that, if not appropriately managed and governed, can translate into acute and protracted risks to individuals and populations. These risks are more pronounced for women, racialized groups and other equity-seeking groups. The current increase in demand for health-focused AI solutions in LMICs is not commensurate with the evidence generated by LMIC-based researchers on how to strengthen health systems, improve health equity, support gender equality and inclusion, and ensure a local supply of credible data, skilled individuals and requisite computing infrastructure.

The Initiative/Our Approach 

The AI4GH initiative supports robust, innovative and interdisciplinary research projects and processes across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa. Each activity within AI4GH promotes ‘responsible AI’ (solutions that are ethical, inclusive, rights-respecting and sustainable) that aims to strengthen gender equality and inclusion, and integrate plans for sustainability, scale and influence.  This initiative aims to build regional and global networks across a range of actors, including researchers, policymakers, practitioners, the private sector and civil society.

    Responsible and Inclusive AI
    Localized evidence to advance global health using responsible AI