Development Centre

DevTalks - Artificial Intelligence powered healthcare in developing countries: Game-changer or premature dream?



Monday, 19th of April 2021, 15:00 – 16:30 - Click to register

Join the new online DEV Talks series - Reshaping development

Mario Pezzini Director of the OECD Development Centre, Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General on Development and the Boston Consulting Group Henderson Institute Paris are pleased to invite you to a discussion on

Artificial Intelligence powered healthcare in developing countries:
Game-changer or premature dream?


Ann Aerts, Head of the Novartis Foundation

François Candelon, Managing Director & Senior Partner, Global Director of the BCG Henderson Institute Paris

Bernardo Mariano Jr, Chief Information Officer at the World Health Organization

Ibtissam Abnane, Assistant Professor, École normale supérieure d’informatique et d’analyses des systèmes - ENSIAS

Moderated by Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre and Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General on Development.

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In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, where the physical world has come to a stop, the digital world has boomed. Concerted efforts to trace, search for a vaccine, and treat the virus at the regional, national and international levels have demonstrated how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can support pandemic preparedness, response, and recovery, and relieve overburdened health systems. In particular, AI has reinforced its position as a promising solution to the already existing constraints in low- and middle-income countries, including the lack of health workers, the emergence of new pandemics, a growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), rising health inequalities in health, and disinformation. However, considering the current geographic unequal distribution of connectivity and digitalization, how can we establish and encourage the conditions to bring the use of AI in health to maturity?


As the role of AI grows, alongside misconceptions and disillusions, with good governance, sequenced action and policy timing, AI can ensure doctors have more time with patients, assist with tasks going beyond human cognition, rapidly analyse huge amounts of data, and ultimately help increase accessibility of healthcare to all. Drawing from the latest report of the UN Broadband Commission’s working group on Digital and AI in Health, this DevTalk will explore the potential benefits of AI driven health applications in developing countries, as well as the risks and challenges that need to be considered and further explored to realize the full potential of AI in health. 


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