February 11, 2021

ITU/WHO Focus Group “AI for Health” holds its 11th meeting online

From 27 to 29 January, 2021, the ITU/WHO Focus Group on “AI for Health” (FG-AI4H) held its 11th meeting to share updates on the progress of its deliverables and to discuss ongoing and future activities. Up to 70 daily participants joined online from all over the globe: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Ireland, Italy, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, Turkey, UK, and USA.

Throughout the meeting, working groups (e.g., “Regulatory considerations” and “Data and AI Solution Handling”), topic groups (e.g., “Malaria”, and “Ophthalmology”), and the Ad-hoc Group on “Digital Technologies for COVID Health Emergency” reported significant growth and progress.

Highlights of the meeting included presentations of the activities within the FG-AI4H “Open Code Project”. The project is dedicated to developing a benchmarking platform that will assist with AI assessment, data acquisition, storage, and annotation. The presentations were followed by lively discussions about organizing FG-AI4H challenges and webinars to reach a wider crowd.

During the subsequent meeting sessions, the initial draft of documents related to the FG-AI4H deliverables were presented and discussed. These deliverables include guidelines for considerations on AI4H ethics, regulation, the software life-cycle, data specifications, model training best practices, evaluation, scaling and adoption.

The meeting days also featured interactive sessions around further AI for health topics, e.g., “Using AI in nursing” (NAIL collaborative, Canada) and “Translating Principles into Practices: Responsible Innovation and AI Taskforce at the University of Montreal Academic Health Center”.

Organizational updates within FG-AI4H working groups (WG) included:

  • WG “Regulatory Considerations”: Change of Vice-Chairs
    • Michael Berensmann and Robin Seidel (Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, Germany) took over from their colleague Wolfgang Lauer
    • Liang Hong (National Medical Products Administration, China) took over from his colleague Peng Liang
  • WG “Operations”: Change of Co-Chairs
    • Eva Weicken (Fraunhofer HHI) took over from her colleague Dr. Monique Kuglitsch


The next FG-AI4H meeting will occur online in spring 2021. For more information about the upcoming events and the FG-AI4H activities, please visit the FG-AI4H website .