The meeting of the G20 health ministers in India in August 2023 was not only a platform for discussions on the promotion of digital innovations and the expansion of digital structures in the health sector, but also provided space for exchange between the participating countries and experts. Federal Minister of Health Prof. Karl Lauterbach was accompanied by a delegation of leading AI scientists from Germany, including Prof. Jakob N. Kather, Professor of Clinical Artificial Intelligence at the Else Kröner Fresenius Centre for Digital Health at TU Dresden.
In discussions and bilateral talks during the summit, topics such as digital health and the use of artificial intelligence in the health sector were discussed intensively. The Minister, Prof. Kather and the other experts of the German delegation had intensive debates about the use of AI in the medical field and the possibility of making health data usable for research. The topic of these discussions was also the Gesundheitsdatennutzungsgesetz (GDNG), which is currently in the legislative process. The law aims to facilitate access to health data in accordance with data protection regulations and to reduce bureaucracy. In this way, the GDNG can contribute to promoting research in the health sector, improving diagnostics, treatment and therapy, and protecting the privacy of patients.
“The G20 Summit was a unique opportunity to discuss with health experts from all over the world and to set an important course for the digital future of healthcare. A fundamental improvement in health care and research is possible if clinically relevant data is made available in a depersonalised and anonymised form for research and especially for training AI models,” said Prof. Kather.
One of the central announcements of the summit was the presentation of the World Health Organisation’s “Global Initiative on Digital Health”. The WHO aims to establish a unified global strategy for digital health. The initiative aims to consolidate evidence on digital health, improve past and current achievements and promote equitable progress in health care.