Thought leaders in medical AI converge in Egypt

por Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | May 28, 2024
Artificial Intelligence Business Affairs
Dr. Ahmed El-Serafi
The First Annual International Conference for Application of AI in Healthcare took place earlier this month in Suez, Egypt.

The event brought together an impressive collection of local and international guest speakers, included professor Elliot Siegel from Maryland University, Amanda Isaac, from King's College London, Dr. Woojn Kim and Dr. William Boonn from Rad AI, Nina Kottler from Radiology Partners, Dr. Rizwan Malik from South Manchester Radiology, and Diaa Hakim from Harvard Medical School.

The conference was organized by Meridian Healthcare. In order to learn more about what transpired, and what future conferences might look like, HCB News spoke to Dr. Ahmed El-Serafi, CEO of Meridian Healthcare Scientific Office.

HCB News: You held an international conference in Egypt looking at the role of AI in healthcare. How did the idea for the event come about?
The idea for hosting an international conference on AI in healthcare in Egypt stemmed from a recognition of the pivotal role that AI can play in transforming healthcare systems globally and locally. As the region strides towards technological integration, the conference aimed to serve as a platform for sharing innovations, challenges, and roadmaps from around the world, helping stakeholders envision and implement AI-driven transformations effectively.

HCB News: How is Egypt's relationship with healthcare AI different from that in the US or Europe?
Egypt’s engagement with healthcare AI is still in its early stages compared to the US and Europe, which are leaders in this field. The differences primarily lie in the infrastructure readiness and the extent of AI integration in clinical practices. However, Egypt is rapidly catching up, driven by a strong governmental push and increasing collaborations with international tech leaders, making it a unique blend of emerging innovations and traditional practices.

HCB News: You had several international speakers at the event. Can you tell us a bit about who they are and why they were chosen to participate?
The conference featured a diverse group of speakers, both local and international, including leading AI researchers, pioneering healthcare professionals, and technology entrepreneurs. Each was chosen based on their unique contributions to the AI and healthcare sectors, offering attendees a rich tapestry of insights ranging from cutting-edge AI research to real-world applications that are driving healthcare efficiencies.

HCB News: Who attended the conference?
The event attracted a wide range of participants, including doctors, researchers, healthcare executives, hospital administrators, policy makers, and technology developers. The diversity of the attendees not only facilitated a multidimensional discussion but also enabled networking opportunities that span geographical and professional boundaries.

HCB News: What were some of the prevailing themes discussed at the meeting?
Among the prevailing themes discussed were the integration of AI with existing medical infrastructure, strategies for overcoming barriers to AI adoption and the ethical implications of AI in healthcare. Another significant focus was on patient-centered AI technologies, showcasing how these innovations can enhance patient care without compromising personal touch.

HCB News: How, if at all, do you imagine next year's event will be different?
For next year’s event, we plan to expand the scope of discussions to include more about the impact of AI on global health challenges, such as pandemics and chronic disease management. We also aim to incorporate more interactive sessions, such as workshops and live demos, to provide attendees with hands-on experiences of AI technologies. An area we also like to elaborate on is philosophical debates associated with AI deployment at scale.

For those interested in diving deeper into the First Annual International Conference for Application of AI in Healthcare, a series of YouTube videos provide highlights and presentations from the event.

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