U.S. Health & Human Services launches AI strategy

AI strategy

The U.S. Health and Human Services agency recently released a comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) strategy to increase use of this advanced technology in MedTech and related types of applications.

“Together with its partners in academia, industry and government, HHS will leverage AI to solve previously unsolvable problems by continuing to lead advances in the health and wellbeing of the American people, responding to the use of AI across the health and human services ecosystem, and scaling trustworthy AI adoption across the Department,” HHS said in its strategy paper.  

The agency added that AI capabilities can solve complex mission challenges and AI-enabled insights can inform efficient programmatic and business decisions.

The agency’s strategy is also designed to increase agency AI usage and innovation, including finding opportunities for specific mission driven Artificial Intelligence solutions.

HHS will officially oversee and regulate the use of the AI strategy in healthcare, encompassing such areas as medical device software, delivery of care, payments, and patient data privacy. HHS will also develop standards and guidance for the safe use of AI.

A key part of the strategy will include the funding of programs, grants, and research and development to increase the number of AI solutions in the health care sector.

Research areas will encompass biomedicine and predictive analytics in public health surveillance and responses and advancing the use of cognitive technologies to identify new approaches to health.

As the largest grant-making agency in the federal government, HHS evaluates and oversees grants supporting thousands of projects that invest in research.

Various academic, private sector, and governmental partnerships will work on key goals of AI innovation that will improve outcomes in clinical practice, public health, social services and wellness programs.  

The strategy details how the agency’s recently established AI Council will assist in AI strategy for governance, strategy execution, and development throughout the agency and with partnerships. The HHS AI Council is tasked with developing performance plans, implementation timelines, and accountability standards, the agency said.

 “AI will be critical to the Department in achieving its mission and vision, as well as positioning HHS to address the health and human services challenges of today and tomorrow,” HHS said.  

The Biden administration has nominated California Attorney General Xavier Becerra for the post of Health and Human Services Secretary, pending confirmation by the Senate.