Partners HealthCare, based in Boston, and GE Healthcare have announced a 10-year collaboration to develop, validate, and strategically integrate deep learning technologies across the entire continuum of care.
The collaboration will be executed through the newly formed Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Clinical Data Science and will feature co-located, multidisciplinary teams with broad access to data, computational infrastructure and clinical expertise.
The initial focus of the relationship will be on the development of applications aimed to improve clinician productivity and patient outcomes in diagnostic imaging. Over time, the groups will create new business models for applying artificial intelligence (AI) to healthcare and develop products for additional medical specialties like molecular pathology, genomics, and population health.
“This is an important moment for medicine,” says David Torchiana, MD, CEO of Partners HealthCare. “Clinicians are inundated with data, and the patient experience suffers from inefficiencies in the healthcare industry. By combining the expertise at Mass General and Brigham and Women’s with the spirit of innovation at GE, this partnership has the resources and vision to accelerate the development and adoption of deep learning technology. Together, we can empower clinicians with the tools needed to store, analyze and leverage the flood of information to more effectively deliver care to patients.”
The vision for the collaboration is to implement AI into every aspect of a patient journey—from admittance through discharge. Once the deep learning applications are developed and deployed, clinicians and patients will benefit from a variety of tools that span disease areas, diagnostic modalities, and treatment strategies, and have the potential to do everything from decrease unnecessary biopsies to streamline clinical workflows to increase the amount of time clinicians spend with patients versus performing administrative tasks.
Additionally, the teams will co-develop an open platform on which Partners HealthCare, GE Healthcare, and third-party developers can rapidly prototype, validate, and share the applications with hospitals and clinics around the world.
“This is about creating digital tools that will have a profound impact on medicine,” says John Flannery, CEO of GE Healthcare. “By leveraging AI across every patient interaction, workflow challenge and administrative need, this collaboration will drive improvements in quality, cost and access.”
With the initial diagnostic imaging focus, early applications will address cases like determining the prognostic impact of stroke, identifying fractures in the emergency room, tracking how tumors grow or shrink after the administration of novel therapies, and indicating the likelihood of cancer on ultrasound.
The collaboration will be a featured project of the MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science. According to the organizations, GE Healthcare was chosen as the primary co-developer because of its shared commitment to digital health, its software and analytics capabilities, and its reputation for driving productivity gains.
“We’re evolving the healthcare system to be able to take advantage of the benefits of deep learning, bringing together hospitals, data sets and clinical and technical minds unlike ever before,” says Keith Dreyer, DO, PhD, chief data science officer for the departments of radiology at MGH and BWH. “The scope reflects the reality that advancements in clinical data science require substantial commitments of capital, expertise, personnel and cooperation between the system and industry.”