Implementing AI in Public Health Organizations

By Sumona Bose

December 26, 2023


Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to improve the health of communities and individuals.  In a recent research article, six key priorities for the successful use of AI technologies by public health organizations were identified and how implementing AI in Public Health Organizations are useful.

Priorities for AI Utilisation

The first priority is contemporary data governance. With the rapid growth in health-related data, it is crucial for public health organizations to have robust data governance policies in place to ensure the privacy and security of sensitive information. This includes addressing issues of data sharing and ensuring that data is used in a responsible and transparent manner.

The second priority is investment in modernized data and analytic infrastructure and procedures. Advances in data storage, computational power, and analytic capacity have made it possible for AI to be used in public health. However, organizations need to invest in the necessary infrastructure and procedures to effectively utilize AI technologies.

Addressing the skills gap in the workforce is the third priority. Public health organizations need to train their workforce in AI and data science to ensure that they have the necessary skills to effectively use AI technologies. This includes providing training and education opportunities for staff members to enhance their understanding of AI and its applications in public health.

The fourth priority is the development of strategic collaborative partnerships. Public health organizations should collaborate with AI consulting firms and other stakeholders to leverage their expertise and resources. These partnerships can help organizations develop AI strategies that are tailored to their specific needs and goals.

The fifth priority is the use of good AI practices for transparency and reproducibility. It is important for public health organizations to adopt AI practices that are transparent and reproducible. This includes documenting the algorithms and methodologies used in AI systems, as well as making the data and code publicly available for scrutiny.

The final priority is the explicit consideration of equity and bias. AI has the potential to exacerbate existing health inequities if not used ethically and responsibly. Public health organizations need to ensure that AI systems are designed and implemented in a way that is fair and unbiased, taking into account the potential for bias in data and algorithms.

An Actionable Example: Precision Public Health

An example of the successful use of AI in public health is the targeting of population health interventions and policies. Known as ‘precision public health’, AI can help identify the right interventions for the right populations at the right time. For example, sentiment analysis of Twitter data has been used to identify individuals with mixed opinions about hookah tobacco smoking, allowing public health campaigns to be targeted at those who may be at risk.


The successful implementation of AI in public health organizations requires careful consideration of ethical use and access. By prioritizing contemporary data governance, investing in modernized infrastructure, addressing the skills gap, developing strategic partnerships, using good AI practices, and considering equity and bias, public health can harness the potential of AI to improve the health of communities and individuals.

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