Artificial Intelligence

To ensure that we can continue to meet the demand for healthcare in the future, we are focusing on innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI). AI is able to analyse large datasets (big data) quickly and accurately. This could potentially enhance the quality of care, save money and ensure that new treatments are developed more quickly.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

The High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence established by the European Commission defines artificial intelligence as follows:

‘Systems that display intelligent behaviour by analysing their environment and taking actions – with some degree of autonomy – to achieve specific goals.'

Examples of the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare include:

  • voice assistants
  • image analysis, of CT and MRI scans, for example;
  • speech and facial recognition systems;
  • robots.

Artificial Intelligence in dementia research

Artificial intelligence (AI) also plays a role in some dementia research. Several dementia research consortiums are using AI in their projects. BIRD-NL, which is studying ways of reducing the risk of dementia, uses AI to test whether new methods can improve risk prediction. TAP-Dementia, which is researching dementia diagnosis, is developing AI applications that extract information from images and combine it with other data.

Two consortiums have been launched under the KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Agreement) ‘Living with Dementia’ call. There is a link with AI in both interdisciplinary lines of research

Artificial Intelligence for innovative guidelines

ZonMw funds projects that produce knowledge to help update guidelines, and make them more accessible and practicable. Two good examples of projects in which AI plays a role are:

Big data and health

The focus of Big Data and Health, a public-private research programme, is use of big data for early detection and prevention of cardiovascular disease. The programme has been developed by NWO, ZonMw, the Dutch Heart Foundation, the Life Sciences & Health (LSH), ICT and Creative Industries Top Sectors, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and the Netherlands eScience Center.

Valuable AI for Health

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport’s Valuable AI for Health programme (2019-2021) aimed to make AI more valuable for care providers, patients and the public, and to help implement and scale up AI in the healthcare sector.

See the result of the programme on the website (in Dutch)