King’s College London to explore environmental sustainability of AI-enabled digital health

A new research project led by King’s College London seeks to explore the environmental impacts of artificial intelligence enabled health, with a central focus on how “ethical principles can be integrated to improve the sustainability” of digital health systems.

The project, ‘Exploring digital health promises and practices through a sustainability lens’, will investigate ethical frameworks that may be implemented to “better encompass environmental sustainability within digital health systems” and their subsequent decision-making processes. The team will look to demonstrate the environmental impacts of databases, infrastructures and software supporting AI, which King’s College London describes as “little understood” at present.

The project has received a £2.5 million investment from the King’s Climate and Sustainability seed fund, which hopes to revitalise climate and sustainability research.

Moreover, researchers at the university plan to build a dedicated international interdisciplinary centre for the study of “sustainability of AI-enabled health tech” as a means to advance research in this area of study. It is hoped that the centre will facilitate wider communication between stakeholders, policymakers, healthcare providers and institutions to share insights and encourage shared learning.

Dr Samuel will lead the project alongside Dr Federica Lucivero (University of Oxford) working with various partners including the NHS and colleagues throughout India, Australia, Canada and Kenya.

In other news from universities around artificial intelligence, the University of Aberdeen recently announced plans to develop AI breast screening technology alongside NHS Grampian. In our article on university led research, we also examine the University of Sheffield’s research using an AI tool to speed up dementia diagnosis. Similarly, we recently examined research from Cardiff University who have highlighted the potential of AI-designed nanoparticles in treating diseases such as cancer.

Earlier this year, we covered King’s College London’s announcement of a £1.5 million grant to explore the technical development of a digital twin for the heart. The technical study is to allow researchers to create computational models of specific patient hearts which can track and forecast how patients will respond to medications and surgeries.

In March, we published a special report exploring various news stories and research around AI which included looking at Health Education England’s AI and digital capacity framework, journal studies and more.

We were also joined by Dr Hatim Abdulhussein who gave a presentation on using AI to improve health equity and outcomes.