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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.


Africa Hub for AI to improve Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health MENA Hub for AI to improve Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health Asia Hub for AI to improve Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health LAC Hub for AI to improve Sexual, Reproductive, and Maternal Health Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Global Health Research hub Our general objective is to strengthen equitable and responsive public health systems that leverage Southern-led responsible AI solutions to improve prevention, preparedness, and response to emerging and re-emerging infectious disease outbreaks. Lacuna Fund aims to close the gap in health disparities by fostering interdisciplinary collaborations that create, expand, or aggregate labeled training and evaluation datasets. I-DAIR aims to develop and share common guidance, frameworks and tools for the development of responsible AI. The Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM), also known as Tecnológico de Monterrey, is a private non-profit Mexican university founded in 1943, recognised for its commitment to quality education, research, and entrepreneurship. The Artificial Intelligence for Health in Africa (AI4H Africa) program is a collaboration between Villgro Africa, IDRC, AI4D, the Africa Oxford Initiative, I-DAIR, Johnson and Johnson Impact Ventures, and NVIDIA to support innovations, policy research, and skills  to spur responsible AI development in Africa. The AI4Health Asia is a 10-month accelerator program designed to promote and nurture innovations in Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) in South and Southeast Asia.

Localized evidence to advance global health using responsible AI