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Driving Accessibility in HealthTech: 3 Things Founders should Consider for Thoughtful AI Implementation in 2024

The benefits of artificial intelligence in healthcare are apparent. With careful planning, we can ensure that these developments benefit everyone, leaving no one behind in the goal of a healthier and more equal future.

As we stand in the new era in healthcare, the promises of artificial intelligence advancements have electrified us all. But while innovation is being pursued, it’s critical to be aware of the possible pitfalls that could make already-existing inequities in healthcare outcomes worse. Precision and inclusion are pivotal in the venture capital space since startup founders significantly influence how healthcare technology develops in the future.

In this deep dive into driving accessibility in health tech, I’ll explore the factors that should guide founders and entrepreneurs as they navigate the ever-changing landscape of AI deployment in 2024 and beyond. Behind the technological improvements and solutions is a dedication to diversity, ethical practice, and community involvement. Below, I have offered three essential tips for startup entrepreneurs looking to create equitable and meaningful AI solutions in the healthcare industry.

Ethical AI and bias mitigation:

Startup founders should address biases in data and algorithms to prioritize the creation of ethical AI models. Often, diverse demographic groups are disproportionately impacted by biased data and models, leading to poorer healthcare outcomes. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the models that are being produced. Throughout the AI development process, founders should implement bias detection and mediation mechanisms.

Predictive modeling, for instance, enables developers to recognize and address biases in the training data, which can help mitigate biases. Demonstrating diverse, multi-disciplinary teams to develop and validate AI algorithms can help detect bias. This approach ensures that diverse perspectives are considered throughout the planning, engineering, and testing phases.

Cultural competence in user experience (UX) design:

In today’s increasingly globalized society, where digital platforms cross boundaries, cultural knowledge in UI and UX design is critical. Healthcare technology AI solutions must be culturally competent to cater to various patient populations’ diverse demands and preferences. To ensure that technology is accessible and user-friendly for everyone, it becomes essential to understand different cultural norms, languages, and degrees of health literacy.

Founders should focus on adding more diverse voices and viewpoints to the UX design process, which will help create more inclusive and culturally responsive interfaces. This can increase user adoption, engagement, and overall user satisfaction. In addition, it can improve AI technology’s ability to provide healthcare solutions to a wider audience.

Per, “Inclusive design doesn’t mean you’re designing one thing for all people. You’re designing a diversity of ways to participate so that everyone has a sense of belonging.”

Community engagement and partnerships:

Successful application of AI in healthcare involves collaboration and involvement with the target groups, specifically those communities the technology will serve. Founders ought to diligently seek input and feedback from various patient groups, advocacy organizations, and community leaders to better grasp each geographic location’s unique issues and potential.

For example, founders could partner with FQHCs. Typically, they serve patients with different cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, and socio-economic statuses.

Collaborating with community organizations can build trust and create solutions tailored to varied populations’ needs. This strategy increases the relevance of AI applications and promotes fairness by ensuring that healthcare technology addresses the unique needs of underrepresented populations.

In the ever-changing healthcare technology landscape, the crossroads of innovation and responsibility determine the way forward. By following these three essential guidelines, founders can manage the hurdles of AI deployment with a clearer focus on equity. The benefits of artificial intelligence in healthcare are apparent. With careful planning, we can ensure that these developments benefit everyone, leaving no one behind in the goal of a healthier and more equal future.

To summarize, the route toward achieving equity in healthcare technology through the responsible integration of artificial intelligence necessitates attention to ethical principles, cultural sensitivity, and community collaboration. As we enter the unexplored territory of AI deployment in healthcare in 2024, founders must acknowledge their influence in defining the course of technological breakthroughs.

Photo: PeterPencil, Getty Images

Justin Williams is a Principal at Seae Ventures, a venture capital firm dedicated to advancing equity by investing in women and Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs. Justin leads portfolio sourcing while leading deal due diligence, financial modeling, and portfolio management. He is currently a Board Observer on two companies, Kiyatec and Functional Fluidics. Justin is a member of Biopharma Leaders of Color (BLOC) and Bioscience & Investor Inclusion Group (BIIG). Justin is passionate about health & wellness, giving back, and mentorship.

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