In September, the European Commission together with the Slovenian Presidency organised one of the biggest AI events in Europe: From Ambition to Action’: A High Level Conference on AI. With efforts to make Europe fit for the Digital Age and turn it into the global hub of trustworthy AI, European Commission is putting innovation at the health of policymaking. 

The conference provided a great platform to discuss the European legislative package on AI adopted in April, as well as how to create a sustainable environment for supporting education on new technologies. It brought together experts, policy makers and members of the European and international committees to share their thoughts and expertise.

Key Highlights of the event 

The biggest announcement came with the unveiling of GlobalPolicy.AI, an online platform that helps both policy makers and the public to navigate the international AI governance landscape. The platform provides insights into the work of inter-governmental organisations, including the Council of Europe, OECD, OECD.AI, and the United Nations. 

The development of the platform is a great step forward for healthcare sectors in Europe. Several organisations, including some of the above-mentioned ones have already been contributing to improving AI integration in healthcare. WHO for example, published a report earlier this year on ethics and governance of artificial intelligence for health,  which includes principles to ‘maximise the opportunities intrinsic to the use of AI for health.’

The OECD has also contributed to this topic. Last year, they published a paper on the promises and considerations of AI in health, as well as the key policy questions that will need to be addressed in the coming years. The EC also published a report in 2020, in which it explores the impact of AI on the future of healthcare and the associated workforce. Additionally, it defined the novel organisational models and skillsets that healthcare professionals will require. 

Even though GlobalPolicy.AI has only recently been launched, the key actors have already provided the first steps towards harmonised rules. With the help of this new software tool, policymakers now have the ability to extract and compile the information that already exists, pinpoint where the best thought and leadership is happening and build upon these foundations.

HMA leading by example 

The increasing discussions happening around Artificial Intelligence is a promising prospect for the future. The Holomedicine® Association members are leading discussions on how mixed technologies, including technologies like AI, are transforming healthcare. Building on HMA’s experience and expertise, European policymakers should include the potential of augmented, mixed, and virtual reality applications when implementing EU-wide strategies aiming to explore new treatment options for various diseases, therapies as well new teaching methods.

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