The research facility will initially focus on developing AI tech for neurology. This will bring out yet another opportunity for the startups working in this field.
Aster CMI Hospital, a multispeciality hospital under the Aster DM Healthcare Group in Bangalore, India, has set up an artificial intelligence lab in collaboration with the public university Indian Institute of Science. According to a news release, the Aster AI lab aims to build AI healthcare tools and train healthcare professionals in AI. It brings together IISc’s expertise in AI development and Aster CMI’s clinical competence to “aide, translate, and validate the developed AI algorithms for clinical use”.
The research facility will initially focus on developing AI tools for neurology and will later expand to other clinical specialities, said Dr Phaneendra K Yalavarthy, professor of medical imaging at IISc. It will support ongoing research projects, such as the “Development of Deep Learning Methods for Automated Tracking and Segmentation of Nerves in Ultrasound Images” and “Automatic Acute Stroke Symptom Detection Using Mobile Health Technologies”.
WHY IT MATTERS
In recent years, India has been increasingly investing in AI for various industries, including healthcare. Most healthcare leaders in the country, according to a report by Royal Philips, said their health centres are ready to invest in AI technologies with the aim of optimising operations, integrating diagnostics, and predicting patient outcomes. However, adoption is impeded by difficulties in data management and a lack of systems interoperability.
Dr Azad Moopen, founder and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, said the Aster AI lab will “open doors for healthcare professionals to undertake research and better utilise AI tools to understand their patient’s disease patterns and improve treatment outcomes significantly”. Dr Yalavarthy added that it will “enable the development of highly impactful research and technologies with a focus on translation to the bedside”.
Following the launch of the AI lab, Aster CMI and IISc will later work on exchanging personnel and conducting joint workshops to increase the cooperation in improving AI for clinicians and patients, according to Aster CMI consultant neurologist Dr Lokesh B.
THE LARGER TREND
Aside from India, other health systems in Asia are also setting up AI labs to harness large volumes of health data into improving patient outcomes. The National Heart Centre Singapore has opened the Cardiovascular Systems Imaging and Artificial Intelligence research laboratory, which aims to enhance the precision of predicting and identifying cardiovascular diseases.
The Hong Kong government through InnoHK has provided funding to set up a health AI and robotics data research laboratory under the Laboratory of Data Discovery for Health, a joint research project by the University of Hong Kong and partner universities in London and Sydney.