Social and health care equity and justice should be prioritized by the mantra of medicine, first do no harm. Despite highly motivated national and global health strategies, there remains significant health care inequity. Intrinsic and extrinsic factors, including a number of biases, are key drivers of ongoing health inequity including equity of access and opportunity for nuclear medicine and radiology services. There is a substantial gap in the global practice of nuclear medicine in particular, but also radiology, between developed health economies and those considered developing or undeveloped. At a local level, even in developed health economies, there can be a significant disparity between health services, including medical imaging, between communities based on socioeconomic, cultural or geographic differences. Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to either widen the health inequity divide or substantially reduce it. Distributed generally, AI technology could be used to overcome geographic boundaries to health care, thus bringing general and specialist care into underserved communities. However, should AI technology be limited to localities already enjoying ample healthcare access and direct access to health infrastructure, like radiology and nuclear medicine, it could then accentuate the gap. There are a number of challenges across the AI pipeline that need careful attention to ensure beneficence over maleficence. Fully realized, AI augmented health care could be crafted as an integral part of the broader strategy convergence on local, national and global health equity. The applications of AI in nuclear medicine and radiology could emerge as a powerful tool in social and health equity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging