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DHSC to test data stewardship for AI in healthcare


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is planning to test the feasibility of data stewardship models in the use of AI in healthcare.

It has published a market notice for support in the initiative, which is aligned with efforts by the NHS AI Lab and NHS Transformation Directorate to promote the safe and ethical use of AI in the sector.

Data stewardship involves making decisions about who gets access to data for research and development. DHSC said that current approaches do not provide for the adequate and appropriate involvement of the public, which is a source of concern given the possible ethical risks in using AI.

Engagement exercise

In July of last year it ran a public engagement with Sciencewise to understand the relevant risks and benefits and expectations of how patients and the public should be engaged in decisions. This highlighted the need for alternative data stewardship models the provide more visibility over health data and its use.

In response, DHSC is looking for an organisation to design options for models and demonstrate their feasibility, including that they can be tested through to a pilot stage.

It expects users of any new models to include doctors, data scientists, legal and ethical experts, as well as patients and lay members of the public.

The AI Ethics Initiative team within the NHS AI Lab will oversee the initiative.

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