More and more U.S. health systems and hospitals are starting to fully grasp the benefits of using artificial intelligence (AI) in their practice.

According to recent estimates, the total public and private sector investment in healthcare AI will reach $6.6 billion by 2021. 

Major hospitals and clinics are already a step ahead of the game and using AI to predict readmissions, accurately detect complex disease and automate operations.

Here are five of hospitals completely transformed by this technology:

1. Boston Children’s Hospital is a prime example of how AI can be used to improve patient outcomes. The hospital teamed up with GE Healthcare, a global a global medtech company, to build an AI-powered tool that can improve diagnostic accuracy in radiology scans for children. At Boston Children, a US top-ranked pediatric hospital, nearly 1,000 imaging studies are performed each day. Most of those patients are under four, an age when the brain is rapidly developing. This makes it harder for radiologists to differentiate between brain maturation and abnormalities. 

This is where the new digital tool will come in handy. The system will take the guess out of diagnostics, by providing radiologists with reference scans from young children of different ages. Those scans will be gathered from the image databases of major academic institutions, that would otherwise be unavailable to most radiologists.

 "We believe that by providing decision support at the time of interpretation, we can improve both the confidence and performance of the interpreting radiologist," said Richard Robertson, MD, radiologist-in-chief at Boston Children's. What makes this system so unique is a type of software called software as a medical device (SaMD).

“SaMD leverages the power of machine learning to extract a plethora of features from collected data. This allows radiologists to discover anomalies missed by other diagnostics tools,” explains Orthogonal, a medical software company.

2. At the Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center, a leading-edge academic medical center and university, radiologists are using an AI platform called Clara. Developed by Nvidia, Clara combines machine learning and technologies from gaming, autonomous vehicles, and cloud computing.

The platform can not only accelerate medical imaging workflows, but it can also augment radiology applications, turning grainy 2D images iinto clear 3D images. 

At OHU, Clara’s capabilities are already being tested during emergency situations, such as detection of a brain hemorrhage or coronary artery disease. Interpreting MRIs is one of the most time-consuming hospital operations.

Thanks to Clara, OHU radiologists can now perform MRI scans in a quarter of the time and have access to views of the body unattainable through traditional medical imaging techniques. Aside from OHU, big names in the healthcare industry like Mayo Clinic are also using Nvidia’s AI-powered MRI  to predict brain tumor genomics. Clara’s developers plan to add features such as medical imaging including reconstruction, image processing, segmentation, classification, and 3D rendering.
 
3. Earlier this year, Cleveland Clinic, one of the largest and most respected hospitals in the country, launched the Center for Clinical Artificial Intelligence.

The Center will serve as a centralized hub for the clinic’s researchers, data scientists, and clinicians to work on AI initiatives. “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, the director of the new center.

Machine learning and other AI technologies will be used to solve complex problems in multiple areas of medicine from pathology and radiology, to information technology, cancer and genetics.

Scientist at the Cleveland Clinic are already working on several projects. Leveraging the data assets  from over a million patients, researchers are working on creating AI-tools to identify patients at risk of death from the point of admission. They are also using AI to find genomic biomarkers and predict how cancer patients would respond to a particular chemotherapy drug.

By adding AI to its healthcare expertise, the clinic strengthens its reputation as one of the five most innovative hospitals and develop a new generation of physician-data scientists.

4. Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School started harnessing the power of AI in February this year, when they signed a ten-year research partnership with industry leader IBM Watson Health. 

The goal of this collaboration is to create emerging tools to improve patient safety and reduce administrative burdens. 

Today’s physicians have to make critical decisions about patients’ lives, with little time to consult electronic health records or medical studies. 

IBM Watson Health and BWH scientists aim to change that by building an AI-powered platform able to combine an individual’s genetic risk factors with his health records and biomarkers. This will help clinicians make more reliable predictions about a patient's risk of actually developing fatal conditions like heart attacks and atrial fibrillation.

5. Last but not least, Henry Ford Hospital is Michigan has been experimenting with Modus V, a fully-automated, hands-free bot.

Developed by Synaptive, from technology previously used on the International Space Station to position astronauts and repair satellites, this robot allows neurosurgeons to perform highly accurate surgeries.

Equipped with a state of the art software and powerful AI, Modus V is able to create a personalized map of patients’ brains and show doctors, in real-time, the most effective routes for procedures.

Ever since using this technology, Henry Ford has seen fewer complications, less postoperative pain and a shorter recovery time.The hospital plans to use the bot for other complex procedures such as advanced cranial surgery, aneurysms and vascular lesions.

In fact, The Modus V and Henry Ford Hospital were included in a documentary called “Benefits for Humanity: From Space to Surgery.” Produced by NASA, the documentary looks at how technology used to build the International Space Station is now transforming precision medicine. Take a look at the trailer here
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AI is bound to revolutionize the health sector in coming years, particularly in the operational and administrative areas. Machines won’t replace physicians anytime soon. Instead, they will be organizing electronic health records, analyzing MRI scans and figuring out the best surgery plans, so doctors can focus on their only job: keeping patients healthy.