Challenge on Gender Equity in AI and Responsible Generative AI for Women’s Health

The Health Innovation Kent Surrey Sussex (formerly KSS AHSN) is one of 15 Academic Health Science Networks across England, established by NHS England in 2013 to improve health and generate economic growth by spreading innovation at pace and scale. They have developed for BRAID a research challenge that focuses on gender equity and women’s health.

With the sudden growth of digital, AI and ChatGPT (generative AI) solutions entering the health care market, there is a significant risk that these new technologies may be embedding inequalities within inequalities due to digital exclusion, lack of regulatory governance and the use of inequitable data sets.

A United Nations global analysis of 133 AI systems across industries found that 44.2 per cent demonstrate gender bias. Women make up only 22 per cent of the AI workers globally. Within healthcare, gender bias is a growing problem, resulting in decreased health equity and poorer outcomes for women.

In this Fellowship round, we ask applicants to respond to one of two key challenge areas (or propose a combination):

How can NHS England and the Office of Life Sciences be supported to ensure that the deployment of AI technology works to reduce health inequalities and is managed responsibly and in a way that addresses the gender bias in AI tech?. (challenge-code HI-C1)

How can we accelerate women’s full and effective leadership in digital and AI across the whole health system, particularly at mid-career reaching up to C-level, and in the fields of procurement, technology/IT/analytics, and across all clinical professions? We invite research proposals that seek to identify barriers and biases that hinder women’s career progression in digital and AI roles in healthcare and propose strategies for overcoming them. (challenge-code HI-C2)

Additional Context

KSS AHSN work with our commissioners, NHS England and the Office for Life Sciences, to deliver services in support of innovation in health. We work to connect citizens, the NHS and academic organisations, government, regulators, the third sector and industry to facilitate change across whole health and social care economies. We also run national policy fora and roundtables, feeding into thought leadership around key policy issues such as artificial intelligence and medicines.

We invite research proposals that

  • align with Health Innovation KSS Women’s Health Strategy, outlining a vision, “to reduce health inequalities for women, by ensuring all women have access to the best quality health and care.” Strategic priorities include: gender equity in health policy and commissioning, including applying a health equity framework for women’s health; women’s health innovation; health inequalities and women; and gender inequalities at work;
  • draw on expert knowledge of the health system and health policy in the UK and engages with arts and humanities research in fields like gender studies;
  • are directed towards reducing health inequalities as a key objective and take on a human-centred approach;
  • call for regular contact and engagement with Health Innovation KSS and NHS England;
  • consider involvement of the various stakeholders – including healthcare professionals, innovators and related educational and training providers; and
  • consider development of practical tools, guidelines and specifications, and how the project might also feed into ongoing work with our partner NHS England in terms of developing educational resources.

Working Arrangements

As a BRAID fellow you will be hosted by a team within Health Innovation KSS, working with our partners. You will also be steered to liaise with relevant teams within the NHS, NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care, charities, trade bodies, regulators, industry partners and academia.

How it will work

  • If the application is successful, Health Innovation KSS will work with the fellow to refine the project plan and agree on shared goals and outcomes.
  • Health Innovation KSS will support the fellow in terms of onboarding, providing a research contact and main collaborator, and engaging in regular meetings.
  • Health Innovation KSS is set up for remote or hybrid working with offices in Crawley/Gatwick, Brighton and Guildford.
  • Fellows are not required to attend the Health Innovation KSS offices in person, unless it is their preference, in which case office space can be provided.
  • Fellows are asked to factor into their budget proposal any travel, accommodation and subsistence costs and any specific research costs they envision.
  • We ask that applicants specify any reliance on accessing specific NHS resources (for example, data) or specific settings, and that they include considerations for seeking related approvals for using these resources.
Scroll to Top