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4IR: Precision Medicine
4IR: Precision Medicine

Advances in genomics, biology, and artificial intelligence have led to the emergence of precision medicine- which is heralding promises of more accurate and individualized ways of screening, diagnosing, treating and curing patients of disease. Recent reports show that there is a marked increase in the development and market approval of AI-powered healthcare technologies and all major countries are making massive investments in precision medicine initiatives, which has made it a topic of interest in research, policy and to the healthcare industry. But there are significant barriers that should be overcome if precision medicine is to become mainstream among which includes: data-sharing policies, outdated regulatory environments, lack of patient awareness and engagement, integration and interoperability with existing healthcare systems to name but a few. in addition to these, emerging research shows that applications of AI in healthcare has major flaws, such as" black-box algorithms", and tools that can mislead precision medicine algorithms whose implications in healthcare are a matter of life and death, for example, a mislead algorithm may result in misdiagnosis which may result in wrong treatment and pose serious life-threatening issues. Therefore questions of how and who is to ensure that precision medicine technologies have passed strict safety and quality standards and certifications before they are marketed and used need to be resolved. In addition, regulators have to overcome the other regulatory challenges such as; defining AI-powered systems for healthcare- for example, can we define health care AI-powered technologies as medical devices?; privacy and data protection; and liability- for example, in cases where AI or machine errors occur- can machines be legally responsible for their choices and outcomes? or in medical cases where both Dr. and machines are used, how is the level of responsibility determined?

KPC4IR examines these critical issues with a focus on ethics by design theories and applications, data protection and privacy policies, and overcoming safety and liability issues.