Event Details

PHO Grand Rounds: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Public Health

Increases in the type, size and complexity of health-related data present new opportunities for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to improve public health. In this presentation we will provide a general introduction to AI and machine learning methods, and discuss challenges associated with their use in the public health context. Example applications will be reviewed, including the potential for these technologies to facilitate modernized disease and risk factor surveillance, improved targeting of population health interventions and causal inference.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Summarize basic AI concepts and techniques
  • Describe challenges to AI application in public health
  • Identify at least one example of how machine learning could be used in their own work

Presenter(s): Laura Rosella, Stacey Fisher and Melodie Song

Dr. Laura Rosella is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, a Canada Research Chair in Population Health Analytics, and a Faculty Affiliate with the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Her research interests include population health, predictive models to support public health planning and population health management.

Dr. Stacey Fisher is a CIHR Health System Impact Fellow in Equitable Artificial Intelligence with Public Health Ontario and the University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health. She has a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Ottawa. Her research interests include population health prediction algorithms and the application of machine learning methods to inform population health planning.

Melodie Song is a Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Health Systems Impact Fellow at Public Health Ontario (PHO). Her core mission as a fellow at PHO is to explore stakeholder perspectives on the intended use of AI for equitable access to public health services, with a focus on immunization. She is a current research collaborator and previous postdoc at the Ted Rogers School of Management Social Media Lab at Ryerson University, specializing in social media network analysis on vaccine misinformation. She obtained a Health Policy PhD from McMaster University (2018). She has worked in CDC-Taiwan and the Ministry of Science and Technology before coming to Canada.  



The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario Grand Rounds are a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In order to receive written documentation for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, please check “Yes” beside the question “Do you require CME credits?” on the registration form.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Affiliate Members may count RCPSC credits toward their Mainpro+ credit requirements. All other CFPC members may claim up to 50 Certified credits per cycle for participation in RCPSC MOC Section 1 accredited activities.

PHO Grand Rounds are also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).

For more information or for a record of registration for other Continuing Education purposes, please contact events@oahpp.ca


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or events@oahpp.ca.

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Updated 7 Dec 2020