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Global Health Centre

Completed: Digital Health & AI Research Collaborative (I-DAIR)

The research project was hosted at the Global Health Centre until January 2023, and is now an independant NGO.
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Project Description

The I-DAIR Project seeks to advance the UNSG’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation’s recommendations related to digital health, and targets set at the World Health Organization (WHO) on universal and quality health coverage. The pathway proposed is the co-creation with diverse stakeholders of an international platform to promote responsible and inclusive AI research and digital technology development for health inter alia by moving towards data for health as a global public good and by addressing key governance, validation, benchmarking and collaboration challenges in research on AI and digital health.

The incubation effort based at a WHO Collaborating Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva under Ambassador Amandeep S. Gill, former Executive Director of the UNSG’s High-level Panel, was initially convened by Fondation Botnar, and is now supported by Geneva Science & Diplomacy Anticipator Foundation (GESDA) in addition.

The project started in September 2019. Currently, the focus is on clarifying the value-add for national and regional efforts in the context of international priorities for digital health and putting together the key policy and scientific partnerships as well as resource commitments required to establish the Collaborative. A set of pathfinder projects are being identified through consultations, which will continue till May 2020.

Post-June 2020, these pathfinder projects will be pursued through global inter-disciplinary teams and would allow the Collaborative to develop meta understandings on issues such as governance approaches for safe, secure, inclusive and effective deployment of data/AI in the area of health, benchmarks, capacity-building, collaboration geometries for AI/digital research for global health, and other enablers for pooling human, financing, computing and data-related resources for global health.  The launch of the Collaborative is currently envisaged for the second half of 2021.

The goal of the project is to co-create a neutral trusted platform for enabling global research collaborations on digital health and AI for health, and for convening stakeholders to develop and share global public goods as well as solve problems for the inclusive, equitable and responsible deployment of data and AI for health.


Key Words: digital health, Artificial Intelligence (AI), data for health, Universal Health Coverage (UHC), research collaborations, global public goods, inclusiveness, interoperability, capacity-building