Wednesday, 26th February, 2020
Suleman Dawood School of Business - LUMS has initiated a series of events to encourage dialogue and discussion on healthcare in Pakistan. As part of the effort to make an impact in this area through seminars, panel discussions, working papers, cases and research publications, a Conversation on “Artificial Intelligence and Medical Sciences” with Major General Prof. Dr. Aamer Ikram (Executive Director National Institute of Health & Pakistan Health Research Council) was held today. This event was organized in collaboration with Technology for People Initiative (TPI).
The session was inaugurated by Rector LUMS, Mr. Shahid Hussain who welcomed participants including researchers, health professionals, and students. Mr. Hussain remarked that SDSB-LUMS’ new Master of Science programme in Healthcare Management and Innovation would serve to develop much needed intellectual capital for this vital sector.
Major General Prof. Dr. Aamer Ikram began with an overview of the health sector in Pakistan. He appraised participants about the establishment and functions of National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad and its overarching role in disease surveillance and infectious disease control.
The session on Artificial Intelligence and Medical Sciences provided an overview of the evolution of technology and its impact on the healthcare sector. Major General Prof. Dr. Aamer Ikram pointed out that the majority of investments in AI were for health related services and products. He went on to describe the existing roles of AI in the medical field, ranging from scheduling appointments to digitisation of medical records to drug dosage algorithms.
Discussing the challenges faced by the healthcare sector in Pakistan, Major General Prof. Dr. Aamer Ikram highlighted the importance of reliable, relevant data for decision making. He added that predictive modelling and effective diseases monitoring could greatly improve public health. Issues such as funding for health research, infrastructure challenges, paucity of experts at the top levels in the public sector, and data security were also discussed.
Concluding the session, Major General Prof. Dr. Aamer Ikram remarked that Pakistan Health Research Council had just awarded its first research grant worth PKR 10 million. He invited LUMS faculty members and future students of the MS programme in Healthcare Management and Innovation to visit NIH and discover opportunities for collaboration and implementation of solutions.
The session ended with the presentation of a souvenir to the guest speaker; followed by networking tea.