Cleveland Clinic creating center for AI in healthcare

By Meg Bryant for Healthcare Dive

Dive Brief:

  • Cleveland Clinic has launched a new center to advance applications for artificial intelligence in healthcare.
  • An initiative of Cleveland Clinic Enterprise Analytics, the Center for Clinical Artificial Intelligence will bring together doctors, researchers, data scientists and others to develop clinical use cases for AI and machine learning in areas such as diagnostics, disease prediction and treatment planning.
  • Cleveland Clinic highlighted AI’s potential to disrupt healthcare in its list of Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2019, tapping it No. 2 after alternative pain therapies to combat opioid misuse and abuse.

Dive Insight:

AI in healthcare is moving beyond hype and starting to have an impact in areas such as streamlining routine work and diagnostics. Organizations from Amazon, IBM and GE Healthcare to Mayo Clinic and Intermountain Healthcare are using health data from patient records to build AI algorithms that can recognize patterns and predict utilization or outcomes.

Spending on healthcare-related AI technology will exceed $34 billion by 2025, up from $2.1 billion in 2018, according to Tractica, a consulting and research firm with a focus on technology.

“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 Aziz Nazha, the new center’s director and associate medical director for AI.

The center will aim to serve as a hub for AI exploration in healthcare both in the U.S. and globally, including collaborations between academia and industry, Cleveland Clinic said. Experts from an array of specialties including pathology, radiology, information technology, cancer, genetics and laboratory sciences will contribute to the program.

Projects underway include building machine learning models to more accurately predict patient length of stay, readmission risk and other clinical decision support needs. Researchers are also developing models to improve cancer detection, predict response or resistance to chemotherapy and personalize prognoses for cancer patients.

Cleveland Clinic has a history of embracing medical innovation and has other AI and advanced technology projects to show for it. For example, the system is tracking hospital bed use through an AI platform initially built for retailers. The program keeps tabs on surgical suite resources to ensure ORs operate at capacity. It also looks at patient movements through the OR to identify potential bottlenecks.

To help combat the opioid crisis, Cleveland Clinic uses pharmacogenomic testing to predict when a patient may have a low response to an opiate-based pain medication and attempt to refill the prescription sooner than prescribed.

And in collaboration with Brooks Automation, Cleveland Clinic last summer launched a biorepository in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood. When completed, the 21,000-square-foot facility will warehouse human tissue samples related to research on cancer, heart disease, epilepsy and other conditions.

The goal is to expand the capacity of Cleveland Clinic’s existing biobank and speed research from bench to bedside through streamlined patient consent processes and centralized storage. The two-story building on the Cleveland Clinic campus is expected to be fully up and running sometime this year.

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