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AI4Health Task Force

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Building a learning health system for Canadians.

In the spring of 2019, CIFAR drew together AI and health innovation leaders from across Canada in a roundtable discussion on Canada’s opportunities to advance AI for health. A strong consensus emerged: Canada could become a world leader in the development and adoption of AI-based approaches to health and healthcare. Canada’s world-leading AI research ecosystem, together with its extensive population-wide data holdings within the publicly funded health system, make this possible. However, we need to act quickly. A Task Force was formed to develop recommendations for a national strategy on AI for health.


Key Recommendations

AI can deliver benefits to the health of Canadians in three primary ways:

  • Improving the effectiveness, efficiency and safety of health service delivery;
  • Providing insights to inform both disease prevention and policies addressing broader population health determinants; and
  • Underpinning the discovery and development of new diagnostic tools and treatments.

In order to realize those benefits, governments need to act urgently on three broad fronts.

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Tim Evans (Co-Chair), Director and Associate Dean, School of Population and Global Health and Associate Vice-Principal (Global Policy and Innovation), McGill University

David Naylor (Co-Chair), Professor of Medicine and President Emeritus, University of Toronto

Elissa Strome (CIFAR Lead), interim AVP Research and Executive Director, Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, CIFAR

Alan Bernstein (Ex Officio), President and CEO, CIFAR; inaugural president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

David Dodge, Senior Advisor, Bennet Jones LLP; former Governor, Bank of Canada; CIFAR Board member

Audrey Durand, Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Mila; Assistant Professor, Université Laval

Anna Goldenberg, Canada CIFAR AI Chair, CIFAR Fellow (Learning in Machines & Brains program), Vector Institute; Associate Research Director Health, Vector Institute; Senior Scientist, SickKids

Randy Goebel, Professor, AVP Research and AVP Academic, University of Alberta

Jordan Jacobs, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Radical Ventures; Co-Founder Vector Institute; CIFAR Board Member

Alexandre Le Bouthillier, Co-founder, Imagia; Mila Board Member

Ted McDonald, Professor of Economics and Director, NB Institute for Research, Data and Training, University of New Brunswick

Kim McGrail, Professor, University of British Columbia; Scientific Director, Population Data BC; Scientific Director, Health Data Research Network Canada

Gail Murphy, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, University of British Columbia

Alison Paprica, Health Data Research Network Canada; University of Toronto

Carole Piovesan, Partner and co-Founder of INQ Data Law

Michael Strong, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Robyn Tamblyn, Scientific Director, McGill Clinical and Health Informatics Group

Support Us

CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.

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