The collaboration between the two countries will create a unique training range for different institutions throughout Estonia, allowing for reliability testing of artificial intelligence algorithms before they are used in medicine. In particular, security and transparency involve ensuring that all incoming data is reliable and unbiased, outputs are controlled to ensure the protection of personal health data, and that data is processed end-to-end only for the agreed purposes. The AI training range will aid in the development of AI applications that meet the most stringent regulatory, safety and data protection requirements
The first applications to be tested are algorithms developed at Semmelweis University, including support for radiologists in breast cancer screening, and support for pathologists when screening for early changes in colon cancer patients. In addition, an algorithm for the prevention of heart disease, which takes into account the impact of social factors and supports the initiatives in Estonia that help to identify the risk of heart disease, is being jointly developed.
Tanel Kiik, Minister of Social Affairs of Estonia said that as the role of artificial intelligence in medicine and society as a whole grows, there is a need to better understand the impact of AI. "Artificial intelligence provides an opportunity to detect serious diseases at an earlier stage and to support doctors in making complex treatment decisions, but one of the key problems with applications of artificial intelligence is transparency. Transparent development environments allow Estonia to lead the way in the reliable training of artificial intelligence solutions," said minister. "I am delighted that Estonia, as a digital nation, can once again be at the forefront here, as the trustworthiness of artificial intelligence is crucial for both doctors and society."
According to László Palkovics, the Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology, Hungary is recognized as a leading country in using big datasets to guide the healthcare decision making process. "In recent years, Hungary has invested significantly in making better use of these opportunities through artificial intelligence," the minister said. "I strongly believe that through cooperation between countries, research institutions and companies, Estonia and Hungary will be able to create a win-win situation for our own people, as well as demonstrate the reliable use of technology to others around the world."
According to Ain Aaviksoo, General Manager of Guardtime Estonia, the European Commission announced requirements for using AI in critical areas last week. "Guardtime's KSI Blockchain technology enables a secure and transparent testing environment where everyone can test their AI applications," said Aaviksoo, confirming that the World Health Organization, the European Commission and other countries and global companies have been interested in supporting the AI training range as well.
Professor Gert Jervan, Dean of TalTech's Faculty of Information Technology, said the university is both contributing to the development of new technologies and exploring how people and machines can coexist. “As scientists, we are interested in how we can make artificial intelligence smarter, so that people have the courage to embrace it and benefit from it in healthcare and beyond. The use of artificial intelligence in medicine is nothing new, but the issue of reliability is unresolved and that would ensure the applicability of new knowledge.”
Rector Béla Merkely emphasised that Semmelweis University, celebrating its 250th anniversary, has become an internationally renowned centre of medical education and healthcare, as well as research and innovation. “Semmelweis University is a leading force of digital health and AI development in Hungary,” said Merkely. Rector Merkely was convinced that the Estonian-Hungarian bilateral collaboration would serve as a pilot to wider European initiatives.
In addition to TalTech and Guardtime, discussions have begun regarding collaborative projects with other hospitals to implement artificial intelligence to address a variety of health issues. “The goal in Estonia is to offer the development and implementation of trustworthy artificial intelligence to anyone who wants it,” Aaviksoo added.
Guardtime, the global leader in enterprise blockchain, is based in Estonia, and its KSI blockchain technology provides proof of integrity and provenance for digital data and smart devices, enabling reliable and transparent solutions across all areas of e-society.
Guardtime technology has been integrated into many e-services used in Estonia, such as the Riigi Teataja, Land Register, Commercial Register, etc.
Estonian and Hungarian Governments partner with Guardtime to develop an AI Training Range for Health-Care Assured AI
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Estonian cybersecurity company Guardtime, TalTech, the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs, the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Semmelweis University and Hungarian company E-Group ICT Software ZRT. The memorandum sets out the framework for collaboration aiming to jointly undertake data-driven projects and establish and operate a Trustworthy AI Training Range.