Artificial intelligence vs. Natural stupidity: Evaluating ai readiness for the vietnamese medical information system

Quan Hoang Vuong, Manh Tung Ho, Thu Trang Vuong, Viet Phuong La, Manh Toan Ho, Kien Cuong P. Nghiem, Bach Xuan Tran, Hai Ha Giang, Thu Vu Giang, Carl Latkin, Hong Kong T. Nguyen, Cyrus S.H. Ho, Roger C.M. Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This review paper presents a framework to evaluate the artificial intelligence (AI) readiness for the healthcare sector in developing countries: a combination of adequate technical or technological expertise, financial sustainability, and socio-political commitment embedded in a healthy psycho-cultural context could bring about the smooth transitioning toward an AI-powered healthcare sector. Taking the Vietnamese healthcare sector as a case study, this paper attempts to clarify the negative and positive influencers. With only about 1500 publications about AI from 1998 to 2017 according to the latest Elsevier AI report, Vietnamese physicians are still capable of applying the state-of-the-art AI techniques in their research. However, a deeper look at the funding sources suggests a lack of socio-political commitment, hence the financial sustainability, to advance the field. The AI readiness in Vietnam’s healthcare also suffers from the unprepared information infrastructure—using text mining for the official annual reports from 2012 to 2016 of the Ministry of Health, the paper found that the frequency of the word “database” actually decreases from 2012 to 2016, and the word has a high probability to accompany words such as “lacking”, “standardizing”, “inefficient”, and “inaccurate.” Finally, manifestations of psycho-cultural elements such as the public’s mistaken views on AI or the non-transparent, inflexible and redundant of Vietnamese organizational structures can impede the transition to an AI-powered healthcare sector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number168
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


  • AI applications
  • AI in healthcare
  • AI in medicine: AI readiness
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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