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Cleveland Clinic Creates Artificial Intelligence Innovation Center

Cleveland Clinic is the latest healthcare leader to launch a dedicated artificial intelligence innovation center.

Artificial intelligence research center

Source: Cleveland Clinic

By Jennifer Bresnick

- Cleveland Clinic has established the Center for Clinical Artificial Intelligence, an innovation hub focused on applying machine learning to healthcare.

According to Crain’s Cleveland Business, the new center will work to develop clinical applications for AI and machine learning technology in the realms of diagnostics, predictive analytics, and treatment planning.

“Cleveland Clinic has formed the Center for Clinical Artificial Intelligence to translate AI-based concepts into clinical tools that will improve patient care and advance medical research,” said Dr. Aziz Nazha, who will oversee the new center.

Under the umbrella of the Cleveland Clinic Enterprise Analytics division, the new center will leverage data from more than one million Cleveland Clinic patients to build predictive models for inpatient mortality risk, projected length of stay, and risk of readmission. 

Other projects will work on the challenges of precision medicine, such as improving cancer detection through AI-driven imaging analytics and predicting patient responses to therapies using machine learning algorithms.

READ MORE: Deep Learning Tool Classifies Lung Cancer as Well as Pathologists

The new center builds on a trend among academic institutions and health systems.  Around the country, research entities and care providers are launching dedicated centers and collaborative initiatives for artificial intelligence.

In August of 2018, the University of California, Irvine and UCI Health System launched the UCI Center for Artificial Intelligence in Diagnostic Medicine. 

The center is focusing on leveraging machine learning strategies, including convolutional neural networks, to improve diagnostics and treatment planning for cancers.  Other research includes developing and deploying a brain hemorrhage detection tool for use in the emergency care environment.

“Our goal is to empower healthcare providers, researchers and patients through the use of artificial intelligence in healthcare,” said Peter D. Chang, MD, co-director of the center. 

Just a few months after, Duke University announced opening of the Sherry and John Woo Center for Big Data and Precision Health, which is exploring how machine learning can personalize medicine and drive improvements across the care continuum.

READ MORE: Medical Artificial Intelligence Market to See 50% CAGR Growth

“Duke is already at the forefront of bringing big data and precision medicine into clinical practice,” said Xiling Shen, the Hawkins Family Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and director of the new center, when the entity launched in 2018. 

“We’re excited about the opportunities this new center will open for our faculty and students to build productive new collaborations with clinicians and biotech companies to make an impact for patients.”

The New Jersey Hospital Association is undertaking a similar effort with its Center for Health Analytics, Research, and Transformation (CHART). 

The initiative will focus more on policy and strategy for applying data-driven insights to issues of population health, care disparities, and variations in care access.

“So many of the problems we see in healthcare today – racial and ethnic disparities, access to care barriers, variations in use of healthcare services, variables in access and funding of prevention and wellness – require a deeper dive into why,” said NJHA President and CEO Cathy Bennett.

READ MORE: Precision Medicine Partnership Aims to Curb Adverse Drug Events

“One of the ways we get closer to answering that question is to have solid data that shows us the root causes of these problems. We can then support design of solutions that address the foundation of the problem, rather than the symptoms.”

Other industry efforts are pairing technology vendors with academic and healthcare provider groups to foster the development of artificial intelligence.

In February of 2019, IBM Watson Health, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital announced a ten-year, $50 million collaboration to leverage AI for patient safety and precision medicine.

“This collaboration will include contributions from IBM Watson Health's longstanding commitment to scientific research and our belief that working together with the world's leading institutions is the fastest path to develop, advance, and understand practical solutions that solve some of the world's biggest health challenges,” said Kyu Rhee, MD, MPP, vice president and chief health officer at IBM Watson Health.

“By putting the full force of our clinical and research team together with two of the world's leading academic medical centers, we will dramatically accelerate the development of real-world AI solutions that improve workflow efficiencies and outcomes.”

The initiative builds upon the 2017 announcement of a $240 million AI lab based at MIT, which will allow technology students to work with start-ups and MIT faculty on artificial intelligence challenges.

Healthcare organizations and academic centers are likely to continue to devote resources to artificial intelligence development as the technology gains traction in the healthcare industry.

Provider groups are actively looking for machine learning tools and strategies to support more informed decision-making as they continue the quest to improve quality and reduce costs.

Dedicating talent and funding to AI research and development may help healthcare organizations gain a competitive edge over their peers as they create and deploy cutting-edge algorithms into the clinical environment.

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