News - January 28, 2021

Artificial Intelligence in Health: A European Opportunity

As demonstrated by the fight against COVID-19, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to drive change and improve efficiency and accessibility in healthcare.

From compounds design in medicines development to faster patient screening and diagnosis to hospital management (to name but a few applications), AI-based solutions can help upgrade our healthcare systems towards more sustainability, while helping to address patients’ unmet needs. AI represents a historic opportunity to redesign healthcare in Europe, but realizing its full potential will require some structural, behavioural and societal adjustments.

In its White Paper on AI in Health, EUCOPE and its members of the Digital Task Force put forward concrete recommendations to address the main challenges in developing AI-based technologies and, so far, impeding the EU’s efforts in leading innovation in that regards.

  • data challenges (quality, access, disparity)
  • regulatory barriers (validation process, international cooperation)
  • organisational and social challenges (access to skills, funds and public trust)

Important hurdles remain for the EU to lead this race (data challenges, clear guidance on quality requirements for validation processes), but the plans from the European Commission indicate a strong ambition from policymakers. We believe it is paramount that any upcoming legislative steps act as an accelerator to stimulate innovation, to the benefit of the EU competitiveness, and ultimately, to the benefits of European patients.