UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


Policy brief: AI, Surgery and Inequalities

AI technologies offer new opportunities to improve surgery but there is a growing recognition that the development of these technologies can unintentionally create or exacerbate inequalities.

Policy brief

View the policy brief on the Wellcome EPSRC Centre for Interventional Surgical Sciences website

As part of the In Theatre project, a report on how Artificial Intelligence and surgery might lead to healthcare inequalities was commissioned by UCL’s Policy Impact Unit, which is part of the UCL Science Technology Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP).

The report is based on a series of discussions that took place during two online workshops in July and September of 2022, with participants from the UK Government, academia and the wider community. The main objectives of the first workshop were to map the different ways in which AI and surgery might lead to inequalities and how those inequalities relate to current public understanding and concerns. As a follow-up, the second workshop focussed on exploring what steps might be taken to ensure that the development of new surgical technologies doesn’t inadvertently contribute to health inequalities. 


This work was funded by Wellcome grant number 203145/Z/16/A. 

Lead researchers

Dr Evangelos Mazomenos

Output type

Policy brief

PIU lead

Dr Luís Lacerda