NIH Launches AI Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity

Jul 19, 2021


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently launched the Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity (AIM-AHEAD). The press release announcing the initiative states, “NIH’s AIM-AHEAD program will establish mutually beneficial and coordinated partnerships to increase the participation and representation of researchers and communities currently underrepresented in the development of AI/ML models and enhance the capabilities of this emerging technology.”
The initiative comes as NIH has identified that the AI/ML field lacks diversity both in its researchers and  its data, which could pose significant risk to developing biased AI/ML systems. The initiative will initially focus on creating a more equitable electronic health record (EHR) database to help eliminate disparities and inequities for underrepresented communities.
The program focuses on four key areas: partnerships, research, infrastructure, and data science training. The partnership component aims to create a “network of networks” to support community engagement to better engage underrepresented scientists. The research component seeks to enhance AI/ML algorithms to better address healthcare disparities, while the infrastructure component aims at coordinating data to better serve the communities supported by AIM-AHEAD. Lastly, data science training opportunities will further eliminate disparities in research, data management, and cloud computing.
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