The Department of Health in Abu Dhabi (“DOH”) has come up with a fresh policy and guidelines around using Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) in the healthcare sector, with the objective of urging its implementation in a safe and secure manner.
As per the policy AI is defined as “the mimicking of human thought and cognitive processes to solve complex problems automatically”… “such as machine learning, distributed intelligent systems, [and] expert systems”.
Though the policy still doesn’t address many key points, most of the vital requirements of an effective AI in healthcare framework are taken care of. The DOH has developed guidelines and a regulatory framework, which will be able to administer the following elements of AI implementation in healthcare:
- Making sure of the safety of its usage and implementation with responsibility;
- Maintaining privacy and security;
- Ensuring transparency and also oversight;
- Making sure that the implications are ethical.
The new policy would be applicable to:
- All of the licensed healthcare professionals and providers in Abu Dhabi
- National and those international end-users who are locally based and who use, or want to use, Abu Dhabi-based residents or patient (both clinical and non-clinical) data in AI field, directly or indirectly;
- Pharmaceutical manufacturing companies based in UAE;
- All the healthcare insurers based in Abu Dhabi;
- All the licensed healthcare researchers in Abu Dhabi who are doing some form of human subject research; and
- All patients in Abu Dhabi.
The policy also lays the guidelines for the minimum acceptable requirements for AI (and its tools) introduced in Abu Dhabi. This includes all the certifications done by recognized international agencies, auditable validation statements and compliance with ADSSSA guidelines.
In addition, all the users of AI except the patients need to ensure the following:
- Have clear governance on implementation and usage of AI
- Lay guidelines and clear boundaries around the sharing and access of patient information so as to safeguard privacy and ownership of this information
- Conduct timely audits to check the AI functionality and how is it being reported to DOH
- Comply with all the regulatory requirements listed by UAE and DOH, including the guidelines that govern e-health, data protection, exchanges regarding health information, information security, and also AI.
The policy also proves that DOH’s recognizes the important role of AI and the benefits it can give if it is properly used in the healthcare sector. To encourage the application of AI in the healthcare arena, there is a need to have a clear regulatory framework. By implementing such a framework, the organizations can develop compliance structures that are needed to ensure a compliant adoption of AI into the healthcare industry.
Our team will keep you posted about any new implementation frameworks that are expected from the DOH. If you have any queries or need any assistance regarding the new AI policy or UAE healthcare industry report, our professional experts would be more than happy to help.
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