Alberta Innovates has launched the enabling better health through artificial intelligence (AI-Better Health) program to demonstrate practical uses of artificial intelligence (AI) in a healthcare system.
The up-to-$8 million program is seeking applicants who “can explore how breaking down barriers will help realize the benefits of artificial intelligence within Alberta’s health system,” with individual project funding able to receive up to $800,000 over three years.
The announcement of the program follows a seemingly nation-wide funding effort to find practical applications for AI.
Just this week, Scale AI announced $21 million in funding to nine projects also looking to integrate AI into healthcare, while Ocean Supercluster announced $20 million to nine oceans-based AI-integration projects, and Lemurian Labs secured $9 million to increase the efficiency of AI-processing.
Alberta Innovates, an arm of the Government of Alberta, is tasked with supporting innovation in the province through funding programs. The organization says it manages nearly 1,300 projects in a portfolio valued at $1.33 billion
The objectives of the AI-Better Health program are to enable better healthcare by understanding the technical hurdles and privacy issues that come with integrating AI into healthcare, identifying the factors surrounding responsible deployment of AI into healthcare, as well as the societal and commercial implications.
“New advances in artificial intelligence are unlocking exciting innovations in every industry, including healthcare,” said Nate Glubish, Alberta’s minister of technology and innovation, in a statement. “The AI-Better Health program will accelerate the development of new technologies to strengthen our healthcare system so that we can ensure every Albertan has access to world-class healthcare when and where they need it.”
Alberta Innovates says that applicants from academia, industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, and government entities are encouraged to apply. Alberta Innovates says funding decisions will be made in January 2024 and projects must begin by March 2024.
Alberta Innovates has shown interest in AI development before, having invested $30 million in the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) in March. Amii describes itself as an Alberta-based non-profit institute that supports world-leading research in AI and machine learning, and translates scientific advancement into industry adoption.
Feature image courtesy Alberta Health Service