The National Academy of Medicine announced today the newly established Committee on Emerging Science, Technology, and Innovation in health and medicine (CESTI).  The committee will assess the landscape of emerging scientific advances and technologies in health and medicine and address the potential societal, ethical, legal, and workforce implications of such technologies, with the goal of developing a multi-sectoral governance framework.

Advances in biomedical science, data science, engineering, and technology are leading to high-pace innovation with tremendous potential to transform health and medicine.  Recent examples include artificial intelligence in health care, human genome editing technologies, and new neural technologies, such as brain implants.  At the same time, these breakthroughs carry risks and have important implications for society, with particular concerns related to the speed of adoption, the ability to control cost of care, and the potential to exacerbate inequities and challenge social norms and ethics.

CESTI is comprised of individuals representing perspectives from health, biomedical science, ethics, social sciences, law, regulation, and other disciplines.  Co-chairs include Atul Butte, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg Distinguished Professor and director of the Institute for Computational Health Sciences at University of California, San Francisco; George Daley, dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; and Alondra Nelson, Harold F. Linder Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study and president of the Social Science Research Council.  A complete committee roster is available here.

The committee will hold meetings and public workshops to:

  • monitor, anticipate and identify emerging developments with significant potential to transform health and medicine;
  • address specific cases through collective review and study;
  • assess the multitude of factors and their interactions that shape the translation of emerging technologies;
  • analyze and delineate the potential risks and societal implications posed by these technologies;
  • build shared understanding around terminology relating to the governance and the means by which different domains work together; and
  • develop a framework of multi sectoral governance to guide the future development of emerging technology for the collective good.



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