WHO releases generative AI health promotion tool called S.A.R.A.H.


The World Health Organization (WHO) announced it is launching S.A.R.A.H, or Smart AI Resource Assistant for Health, a generative AI assistant designed to provide information on major health topics such as healthy lifestyle habits and mental health.
The prototype health AI can communicate in eight languages and is available on any device. 
Topics it touches on include cancer, heart disease, lung disease and diabetes. 
Sarah can help people learn more about quitting tobacco, living an active lifestyle, eating a healthy diet and stress relief. 
It is powered by generative AI rather than a preset algorithm, which provides more accurate responses in real-time as well as nuanced, empathetic responses. Sarah runs on Soul Machine’s Biological AI platform. 
“The future of health is digital, and supporting countries to harness the power of digital technologies for health is a priority for WHO. Sarah. gives us a glimpse of how artificial intelligence could be used in future to improve access to health information in a more interactive way. I call on the research community to help us continue to explore how this technology could narrow inequities and help people access up-to-date, reliable health information,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a statement. 
THE LARGER TREND
In 2020, the WHO launched a new tobacco cessation program called the Access Initiative for Quitting Tobacco, which pairs users with AI virtual health workers for nicotine replacement treatments. The application can be used online for free and was first piloted in Jordan. 
Two years later, the National Institutes of Health started work on its own artificial intelligence program, Bridge2AI, which plans to invest $130 million over four years to accelerate the use of AI in biomedical and behavioral health research. 
In 2023, the United Kingdom partnered with generative AI companies OpenAI and Deep Mind for research and safety purposes. The collaboration aimed to explore how governments can use AI to better serve healthcare and education across the country. 

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