Intended for healthcare professionals

Artificial Intelligence and covid-19

Soon after the covid-19 pandemic was declared, the World Health Organization signalled that artificial intelligence (AI) could be an important technology to manage the crisis caused by the virus.

AI, a core technology of the fourth industrial revolution, is an important non-medical intervention to overcome the current global health crisis, to build next-generation epidemic preparedness, and to move towards a resilient recovery.

While AI holds much promise it also raises serious questions concerning fairness, reliability, accountability, privacy, transparency, and safety. Based on best practices and lessons learnt from using artificial intelligence during the covid-19 pandemic, this collection attempts to answer these questions and looks forward to an intelligent healthcare future.

Get ready for AI in pandemic response and healthcare
WHO will continue to support countries to accelerate preparedness for AI for next generation pandemic response and healthcare management, say Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Soumya Swaminathan

Covid-19 driven advances in automation and artificial intelligence risk exacerbating economic inequality
Anton Korinek and Joseph E Stiglitz make the case for a deliberate effort to steer technological advances in a direction that enhances the role of human workers.

How US law will evaluate artificial intelligence for covid-19
Daniel E Ho and colleagues explore the legal implications of using artificial intelligence in the response to covid-19 and call for more robust evaluation frameworks.

Does “AI” stand for augmenting inequality in the era of covid-19 healthcare?
Artificial intelligence can help tackle the covid-19 pandemic, but bias and discrimination in its design and deployment risk exacerbating existing health inequity argue David Leslie and colleagues.

Using AI ethically to tackle covid-19
Taking a principled approach is crucial to the successful use of AI in pandemic management, say Stephen Cave and colleagues.

Improving trust and solidarity could help release the full power of artificial intelligence in healthcare
Artificial intelligence has already started to disrupt the traditional medical model, but there is still long way to go for it to be fully established, writes Xing-Huan Wang.

Artificial intelligence for covid-19 response
AI has yet to fulfil its potential, but it could if we learn lessons from covid-19, by Bernardo Mariano Junior, Sheng Wu, and Derrick Muneene.

Integrating artificial intelligence in bedside care for covid-19 and future pandemics
Michael Yu and colleagues examine the challenges in developing AI tools for use at point of care.

This collection of articles was proposed by the WHO Department of Digital Health and Innovation and commissioned by The BMJ. The BMJ retained full editorial control over external peer review, editing, and publication of these articles. The collection was funded by the World Health Organization.

Paul Simpson and Diana Lucifero were the editors for The BMJ. The WHO Technical Lead for the project was Sheng Wu. The WHO would like to thank the Executive Leadership (Bernardo Mariano Junior, Soumya Swaminathan), advisors (Derrick Muneene, Sameer Pujari, Ian Coltart, Laragh Gollogly, John Grove, Andreas Reis and John Reeder), and Publication & Administration Support (Berengere Nail, Elena Sartorius) for their contribution to the project.