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World Health Organization is hosting an AI symposium focused on its impact on health systems

WHO is hosting a symposium dedicated to the technological advancements in artificial intelligence and its impact on health systems.

World Health Organization is hosting an AI symposium focused on its impact on health systems
Porto. · 06 Sep 2023

Under the theme "The Future of Digital Health Systems in Europe," the World Health Organization (WHO) is organizing a symposium in Porto today dedicated to technological advances in artificial intelligence and their impact on health systems. The meeting will also be marked by the WHO's announcement of the opening of its first office in Portugal dedicated to Technology, Robotics, and Entrepreneurship in Health. It will be located in Porto, in the future premises of the executive directorate of the National Health Service (SNS), allowing for strengthened synergies between the institutions. It will have at least 15 Portuguese and foreign researchers and is expected to start operating later this year.


This project was the result of a working group composed of the Councillor of the Economy, Employment, and Entrepreneurship, Ricardo Valente, and members of the executive board of the SNS, the Ministry of Health, and the World Health Organization's regional office for Europe.


The 2nd World Health Organization Symposium brings together more than 500 participants, including government representatives, academics, health professionals, and digital health experts, as well as organizations from all WHO member states and other interested parties.


Throughout the day, topics such as exploring the potential of digital health to combat non-transmissible diseases, using digital health for pandemic preparedness, the effectiveness of telehealth in revolutionizing healthcare, and the power of emerging technologies to improve mental health will be discussed.

Simultaneously, it will outline actions related to the Regional Digital Health Action Plan for Europe 2023-2030 and discuss how countries and the industry can collaborate to bridge gaps in digital health.


The opening session was held at a hotel in the city yesterday and was attended by the Mayor, Rui Moreira, and the Minister of Health, Manuel Pizarro.


During the event in Porto, the World Health Organization will also launch a new regional report titled "Harnessing and Scaling Digital Transformation to Improve Health and Resilience in the European Region," covering the 53 WHO/Europe Member States in Europe and Central Asia. Although in many countries, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the creation and use of digital health tools and policies in response to lockdowns and social distancing, including telemedicine and user-friendly health apps, the report stresses that there is still much work to be done.


Ahead of the WHO symposium, Rui Moreira received the participants and the Minister of Health at the Paços do Concelho.