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AI-driven technologies in women’s healthcare

There is a gender data gap in healthcare that results in gender bias, even in the UK. This means that women’s biological and socio-economic differences are not properly considered, resulting in inadequate healthcare treatment, or even wrong treatment protocols. 

This project explores a niche area of AI in women’s healthcare with the aim to investigate the key factors for under-representation, the impact it can have on women’s legal rights in health, and to pivot the ethical use of AI-driven technologies for women’s healthcare. This allows for an evaluation of the UK’s achievement rates of the SDGs, and to propose ethically-designed AI-driven technologies that can contribute to, or accelerate the achievement rates of the SDGs.

The purpose of our research is to produce empirical evidence on the lack of scholarship regarding AI-driven technologies in women’s healthcare and their links to the UN SDGs, and to identify approaches to how AI-driven technologies can assist in accelerating the UN SDGs. 

Ultimately, we are proposing not only a refined methodology for opening pathways of discussions into sustainability in women’s healthcare; but we also make the following hypotheses: (i) that AI helps to influence in a more efficient manner, how informed health choices are made by individuals (the stakeholders envisaged in the project); and (ii) that as a result of (i), AI-driven technologies assist governmental policies and the regulatory environment in achieving the UN SDGs 3 & 5.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Pin Lean Lau
Pin Lean Lau - Pin Lean is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Bio-Law at Brunel Law School, joining Brunel University London in January 2021. A former practising barrister and solicitor, she was a corporate-commercial attorney working primarily in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, technology law, and general corporate advisory matters. Prior to joining Brunel University, she was an attorney on secondment with the Legal Services Team (based in Belgrave, London) in the General Counsel's Organization of American Express International, where she was a key senior legal counsel for the Asia-Pacific region. She obtained her SJD in Comparative Constitutional Law from Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, in 2019 (nostrified in the UK in 2020), earning highest honours, Summa cum Laude, for her thesis titled 'Comparative Legal Frameworks for Pre-Implantation Genetic Interventions' (which has been written into a monograph published by Springer Switzerland).  Pin Lean is the General Manager of the Centre for Artificial Intelligence: Social & Digital Innovations. She is an active member of the Brunel International Law Research Group, Living Avatars Research Group, the Human Rights, Society and the Arts Research Group, and Reproduction Research Group. Externally, she is part of the ELSI2.0 Workspace, an international collaboratory on genomics and society research; a member of the European Association of Health Law (EAHL), and a General Manager of the Interest Group on Supranational Bio-Law of the EAHL; and a member of the Daughters of Themis: International Network of Women Business Scholars. She has held visiting fellowships with the Centre for Health, Law and Emerging Technologies (HeLEX), NDPH (Medical Sciences Division), University of Oxford; the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences (CELLs) at the University of Hannover, Germany; and participated in the Centre for Ethics and Law in Biomedicine (CELAB) in Central European University, Hungary. Pin Lean also leads the UK & European chapter of the global Responsible Metaverse Alliance as Director of Research; and is an invited member of the United Nations (UN) International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Working Group on the Metaverse, focusing on competition, economics, standards and regulatory aspects of the Metaverse.  Her research encompasses European, international, and comparative law for genome editing (with a focus on pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, reproductive technologies and women's bodies; and the proliferation of virulent gene-edited pathogens and global bio-security); propertization and commodification studies of genetic materials and biomedical technologies; the ethico-legal governance for artificial intelligence (AI) systems (with a focus on protection of fundamental rights, spatial 'body citizenship' and bio-constitutional implications of the AI-augmented biological human body, and AI in women's health); and technologies horizon scanning and legal future foresighting for new and emerging technologies and environments, such as the Metaverse. She has written widely on topics straddling the fringes of laws, technologies and society, and has been invited as a speaker by many national and international organisations, including on podcasts relating to technologies, and media interviews with news organisations in the UK, US, France, Germany, Brazil, Hungary, Malaysia, Japan, and India. Recently, she was invited as an expert panelist by the UK regulatory alliance, the Digital Cooperation Regulation Forum (DRCF) in its first Metaverse Symposium. She has also consulted as an expert with the UK Law Society on technologies and horizon scanning in its Future Worlds 2050 Project.  Pin Lean previously consulted on a multi-trust funded project for the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the OiE (World Organization for Animal Health), on developing and piloting of a Tripartite One Health Assessment Tool for Antimicrobial Resistance Relevant Legislation. She also completed a project with researchers from the EAHL to produce a Joint Statement for the European Commission's 2021 Thematic Networks, with a proposal for Health as a Fundamental Value, as part of the EU Pharmaceutical Strategy. She led a project on AI-driven technologies in women's healthcare, funded by the Institute for Communities & Society. Besides this, she is also working on several book projects, including health and IP rights in EU health law, and EU health databases; on the EU Draft Law for Artificial Intelligence and data protection; on AI gender data gap and data feminism; and on FemTech and effective AI stewardship for women's healthcare. She is also a contributor in the EuroGCT Project (European Gene & Cell Therapy Project) funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Work Programme, contributing in the area of data misuse and mission creep in EU health laws relating to patient involvement and patient data. She was the keynote speaker, with the presentation titled 'Hidden Figures: Algorithmic Biases in Health and Medical AI - European Law Perspectives' at the XVI Inter-Autonomous Conference on the Legal Protection of Patients: Science and Data as Ingredients for the Transformation of Healthcare Organisations.  She led a European Commission Health Policy Platform project, together with civil society organisation, Health Action International, to produce a Joint Statement and policy recommendations for the European Commission 2022 Thematic Networks, on the impact of artificial intelligence on health outcomes (reducing health inequalities) of marginalised groups in the EU - presenting this report to the European Commission in Luxembourg in April 2023. She currently leads the Stakeholder Network for this project on the EU Health Policy Platform. From August 2023, Pin Lean leads a project (Lex-HMT) focusing on legal and regulatory aspects of immersive biomedical technologies in virtual worlds, and is expected to provide oral evidence to the AI All-Parliamentary Group (AI APPG) in the UK House of Lords in November 2023. She has also recently been successful as Co-Investigator in a UKRI-funded regulatory science & innovation network funding application with The Global Counsel and Digital Catapult, on spatial computing, web3.0 and the Metaverse. 

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 12/10/2023