In the rapidly evolving domain of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its applications in healthcare, ethical considerations take on an indispensable role. Carina Dantas -CEO at SHINE 2Europe– brings a unique and insightful perspective to this discussion. Operating from Coimbra, Portugal, her organization champions the cause of inclusive communities through applied research, ensuring that every stakeholder -citizens included- plays a part in shaping our communal future.

In our interview, Carina emphasizes the societal dimensions of ethics in AI, suggesting a shift away from merely legal or procedural interpretations towards understanding ethics as fundamentally intertwined with societal engagement. Specifically, she highlights the importance of considering diverse needs and challenges in the development of digital tools.

Her work in applying AI within the healthcare sector -particularly in cancer care- is deeply personal and reflective of a broader concern for non-communicable diseases. Carina shares, “I am a cancer survivor and this raised my specific attention to this issue.” This personal connection drives her to explore AI’s potential in enhancing self-management and predictive capabilities in healthcare.

To navigate the complexities of integrating AI into healthcare ethically, Carina proposes a systematic approach to addressing challenges. She suggests clustering these challenges into four categories: individual, technical, organizational and societal, advocating for a tailored approach to each case rather than high-level discussions. This method acknowledges the limitations inherent in current technologies and emphasizes the importance of transparency and explainability to build trust among users.

Education, awareness, and training also emerge as critical themes. Carina points out the current gaps in medical education concerning AI, which is crucial for developing unbiased and effective tools. “Education, awareness and training are some of the key issues that were raised by everyone,” she remarks, underlining the necessity for a multidisciplinary understanding to foster the development of ethical AI solutions in healthcare.

As AI’s role in healthcare continues to expand, a robust framework for ethical AI use in healthcare might provide valuable guidance for ensuring that technological advancements are leveraged responsibly and inclusively, always with an eye towards the ethical implications for individuals and society at large.