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Accelerating AI-based software development in medical imaging

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New AI-based tools are needed to aggregate, standardize, and make sense of medical imaging data quickly.

GE Healthcare and Prof. Hakki Muammer Karakas, M.D., Istanbul Provincial Health Directorate Radiology Services Coordinator & Health Sciences University Faculty Member, have announced the country’s first strategic collaboration to accelerate artificial intelligence (AI) development in medical imaging.

Prof. Dr. Karakas will lead the research and development teams comprised of distinguished clinicians, radiologists, scientists from different disciplines, senior data scientists and software developers who have come together under the newly established company CUREA, at TECHNOPOL Istanbul. Using GE Healthcare’s Edison Health Services, the teams will work to develop AI-based applications focused on the detection, categorization and severity grading of COVID-19 to diagnose and treat patients; as well as develop AI-based applications for automatic detection and classification of breast lesions through contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (CESM).

Advances in medical imaging constantly increase our knowledge of diseases and their treatments, creating a surge in the amount of data generated. For each patient to benefit from the promises of personalized medicine, new AI-based tools are needed to aggregate, standardize, and make sense of this data quickly.

However, the development of AI applications in medical imaging requires access to large amounts of high-quality annotated data, advanced design visualization capabilities and the ability to trace the development and learnings – which can be a challenge. The collaboration between CUREA and GE Healthcare will leverage large-scale clinical and radiological data from the University of Health Sciences and using the AI-know how and capabilities of the research and development teams led by Prof. Dr. Karakas, work to accelerate the development of AI solutions and help structure an AI healthcare ecosystem in Turkey.

Commenting on the collaboration, Prof. Karakas said: “Leveraging the power of GE Healthcare’s Edison Health Services, Turkish clinical scientists, data scientists and software developers will be able to harness our immense datasets to create AI-driven applications that can add significant value to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in Turkey. This is an organic tie-up that has the potential not only to establish Istanbul as a global site for AI development in healthcare, but the ability to scale up intelligent clinical analysis and operational management solutions and make them available to radiologists and healthcare professionals around the world.”

Nael Dabbagh, General Manager of GE Healthcare in the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Turkey, said: “This is an exciting collaboration that will gradually give Turkish start-ups, researchers and radiologists the opportunity to create AI applications in medical imaging that can dramatically enhance treatment and diagnosis of disease in Turkey and beyond. It is also a significant step forward in establishing an ecosystem for AI development in healthcare for Turkey and the whole region, thanks to the leadership and vision of Prof. Dr. Karakas and his team.”

Edison Health Services is an open, extensible, modern architecture for the development and deployment of digital applications in healthcare. Applications targeting clinical, operational and financial outcomes in healthcare can easily be developed using these tools.  Applications developed using Edison Health Services can be quickly and securely deployed in the cloud, on premise (e.g.,via GE Healthcare’s Edison HealthLink appliance), or directly onto smart imaging devices.

Previous AI collaborations announced in Europe have focused on the management of liver cancer with artificial intelligence characterization tools, the diagnosis and prognosis of lung diseases, and the accuracy and personalization of treatments for brain cancer or patient follow-up through imaging tools and multidisciplinary consultation meetings. Similarly, the recently launched EMEA Edison Accelerator is a start-up acceleration & healthcare provider collaboration program in Europe, Middle East & Africa, for the region and the world. It brings together healthcare providers interested in being at the forefront of innovation, and start-ups who want to leverage the GE Healthcare environment and mentoring to enhance their value proposition.

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