• Welcome to Master of Health Research Ethics (MOHRE)
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On January 24th, 2024, the Global Forum on Bioethics in Research (GFBR) in collaboration with the Southeast Asia Bioethics Network (SEABioN) and the Faculty of Law, Universiti Malaya (UM) organized a pivotal public forum titled, ‘Ethics in AI Healthcare Research’. This significant event took place at the Tun Mohamed Suffian Auditorium, within the Faculty of Law and was supported by the Master of Health Research Ethics (MOHRE) programme at the Faculty of Medicine, UM. The forum provided a platform for a profound exploration of the ethical considerations of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare research.

Expertly moderated by Dr. Dan O'Conner, Head of Research Environment at the Wellcome Trust, the forum featured four distinguished experts. Professor Effy Vayena, Assistant Dean and Professor of Bioethics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich led the opening discussion. With her background as a technical officer at the World Health Organization and her role in co-chairing the expert advisory group on AI in health ethics and governance. Professor Vayena shared her invaluable insights, settling a high standard for the dialogue that followed. Dr. Mohd Adli Bin MD Ali, Assistant Professor in the Physics Department at International Islamic University Malaysia, then took the stage, bringing his seven years of experience as a certified machine learning developer to the discussion.

Dr. Barry Solaiman, Assistant Dean and Assistant Professor of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), Qatar, contributed his regulatory expertise on AI in healthcare, specifically in advising the Qatar Ministry of Public Health. Dr Mohammad Firdaus Abdul Aziz, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Dean of Research, Value Creation and Enterprise at the Faculty of Law, UM, added depth to the conversation with his experience in bioethics and efforts to advance the field in Southeast Asia. The audience was diverse, including UM undergraduate and postgraduate students,  bioethicists, and members of various ethics committees,  scientists, health researchers, and health practitioners. This mix of participants ensured a rich exchange of ideas, addressing complex questions arising in the field of AI healthcare research.

In addition to the main discussion, Mr Gurmit Sandhu, a former PhD student and an AI Practitioner for Digital Health Technologies, presented a session titled "A Dashboard to Support the Value Assessment of Digital Health Technologies”. This presentation offered practical tools that can be used in evaluating digital health technology, further stimulating discussion on AI's role in healthcare implementation and assessment. The forum stood as a crucial platform for exploring the transformative potential of AI in healthcare, while meticulously addressing ethical considerations and challenges in this rapidly evolving field.

The discussion highlighted the vital need for continued collaboration, as well as the establishment of stringent ethical guidelines and regulatory frameworks. This is essential to ensure the responsible and equitable integration of AI in both healthcare practices and research endeavours. Through this conversation, we are able to set the stage for meaningful future dialogue and collaboration. The Public Forum on Ethics and AI Health Research has laid a solid foundation for leveraging the advantages of AI while upholding ethical integrity and protecting patient welfare.