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by Sofia Villegas
05 March 2024
Glasgow University to tackle gender bias in ‘transformational’ healthcare AI

New research to tackle gender bias in healthcare technology | Alamy

Glasgow University to tackle gender bias in ‘transformational’ healthcare AI

A Scottish university is to explore how to prevent gender bias from skewing outcomes in healthcare artificial intelligence.

The University of Glasgow will work to develop a new framework to balance gender-related behaviour in an AI monitoring system over the next 18 months. 

Dr Nour Ghadban, the project’s principal investigator, said: “New sensors linked with artificial intelligence could offer potentially transformational opportunities to improve the way that we monitor patient wellbeing. 

“However, we can only reap those benefits if we can be sure that the AI systems, we use to achieve them are up to the task. We know that all kinds of human bias across race, class gender and more can be unwittingly incorporated into AI decision-making tools if the proper care isn’t taken when they are being trained on real-world data.”

The research team will collect data from 30 male and 30 female study volunteers using radar sensors. The data will be used to train a new Scottish universities to play a role in groundbreaking AI research architecture, which will analyse the results of the radar monitoring. 

Separate models will be trained on the male and female data, comparing performance and highlighting any biases in the AI’s performance so they can later be adjusted.

Funded by the Women and Science Chair at Université Paris Dauphine-PSL, the research announcement follows recent developments in AI-supported sensing technology.

The University of Glasgow is among those developing innovative sensors to track heart and lung rhythms without the need for wearable technology or video cameras. 

The Scottish institution is developing a £5.5m system named Healthcare QUEST. 

The remote technology aims to build the homes of the future. Its sensors will provide advice and alerts to provide personalised suggestions for lifestyle improvement and rehabilitation programmes for those recovering from illness.

It is hoped the technology will have the potential to allow older people to live more independently and provide additional insight into the wellbeing of patients staying in hospital wards.

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