Cedars-Sinai Creates Artificial Intelligence Council to Guide Strategy

Aug. 22, 2023
Council provides a forum for exchange of ideas, evaluation of AI tools and identification of measures of success

Each large health system and academic medical center is trying to determine the best way to organize teams innovating around artificial intelligence. Some are creating chief AI officer roles. At Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, one component of that work involved the creation of an Artificial Intelligence Council, which brings together cross-functional leaders—from patient care, research, data and technology teams—to review, guide and coordinate AI strategy.

Cedars-Sinai serves more than 1 million people each year in over 40 locations, with more than 4,500 physicians and nurses and 1,500 research projects under way.

This council provides a forum for dialog and an ongoing exchange of ideas while setting priorities, evaluating the use of AI tools and identifying measures of success, according to a story on the Cedars-Sinai web site, which quotes Jason Moore, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Computational Biomedicine and a founding member of the council: “The AI Council is a core piece of our commitment to using AI responsibly,” he said. “It is critical that we promote responsible AI principles, helping to ensure that AI is deployed safely, effectively and in an unbiased and transparent manner.”

Cedars-Sinai can already point to some of the ways AI is having an early impact on clinical and research initiatives, including:

• Pancreatic Cancer: Cedars-Sinai investigators have leveraged AI to identify the earliest signs of pancreatic cancer, a disease notoriously difficult to diagnose in its early stages. By using advanced machine learning algorithms to analyze medical imaging scans and patient records, the AI system may help prevent deaths through early detection, leading to timely interventions and improved patient prognoses.

• Heart Health: Research led by investigators in the Smidt Heart Institute and the Division of Artificial Intelligence in Medicine in the Department of Medicine is helping clinicians get closer to predicting two common heart conditions: sudden cardiac arrest, which is often fatal, and increased coronary artery calcium, a marker of coronary artery disease that can lead to a heart attack.

• Brain Cell Modeling: Investigators from the Anastassiou Lab—members of the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, the Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute and the Center for Neural Science and Medicine at Cedars-Sinai—have created complex computer models of individual brain cells, unlocking new avenues for understanding brain function and neurological disorders.

• Alzheimer's Disease Research: An $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study Alzheimer’s disease is enabling investigators to study new, leading-edge artificial intelligence methods and to use these to identify genetic predictors of Alzheimer’s disease risk.

• Liver Disease: Cedars-Sinai experts are investigating how ChatGPT may help improve outcomes for patients with cirrhosis and liver cancer by providing easy-to-understand information about lifestyle changes and treatments.

• Obstetrics and Gynecology: AI is helping physicians make headway in predicting the need for cesarean section delivery. By analyzing electronic health records, the Cedars-Sinai AI model can help physicians assess factors influencing the need for C-sections, potentially leading to better outcomes and informed decision-making for parents.

• Spine Surgery: The Department of Computational Biomedicine, in collaboration with Cedars-Sinai’s AI Council and spine surgeons, is using AI and machine learning to predict which patients are most likely to successfully manage their pain post-surgery and which ones might need additional assistance.

• COVID-19: During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cedars-Sinai developed an AI model that helps physicians diagnose the severity of COVID-19 pneumonia. This technology already is being used in multi-center clinical studies.

The Cedars-Sinai story quotes Craig Kwiatkowski, PharmD, senior vice president and chief information officer, as saying that AI “holds the potential to transform the ways we envision, plan and deliver care. Because of the vast opportunities, we are moving deliberately in these early stages of the journey.

“We are only at the very beginning of understanding what AI can do to improve healthcare and quality of life for our patients, our physicians and our staff,” Kwiatkowski said. “We are committed to building a firm foundation as we head into the future.”  

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