News | Artificial Intelligence | August 18, 2023

AI enhancing Cedars-Sinai patient care, clinical and research initiatives, and medical discoveries

AI enhancing Cedars-Sinai patient care, clinical and research initiatives, and medical discoveries

Easy-to-use AI tools offer new possibilities to transform healthcare. Getty Images 

August 18, 2023 — Artificial intelligence (AI) is capturing the public imagination as the pace of innovation accelerates sharply and easy-to-use AI tools offer new possibilities to transform whole industries. 

Building on a legacy of innovation, Cedars-Sinai is harnessing rapidly evolving breakthroughs in AI technology to enhance patient care, improve efficiency, advance scientific discovery, and cultivate greater physician and staff wellbeing. 

AI at Cedars-Sinai already is having an early impact on clinical and research initiatives. Investigators, for example, are using the technology to identify the earliest signs of pancreatic cancer, predict sudden cardiac arrest and uncover genetic predictors of Alzheimer’s disease risk. 

Cedars-Sinai leaders are excited by the possibilities afforded by AI—including the potential to reduce healthcare disparities and costs—as they guide the organization through this dynamic revolution in healthcare. 

“AI extends and augments human capabilities and intelligence,” said Craig Kwiatkowski, PharmD, senior vice president and chief information officer. “It 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.” 

The Three Pillars of Artificial Intelligence at Cedars-Sinai 

Cedars-Sinai’s AI strategy is built on three foundational strategic pillars: investing and planning, transitioning innovation into adoption, and supporting sound, ethical use of new technologies. 

Through its first pillar, Cedars-Sinai is investing in state-of-the-art technology, infrastructure and services while fostering AI fluency across the workforce. The intent is to lay a foundation to meet the organization’s future healthcare needs. 

The second pillar calls for the use of AI research and innovation to solve critical, real-world healthcare challenges—accelerating the integration of AI discoveries into clinical practice and delivering benefits to patients, physicians and the healthcare delivery system. 

The third pillar focuses on the ethical and responsible use and governance of AI by adhering to regulatory requirements while ensuring that AI tools are used in fair and unbiased ways that protect patients and their privacy. 

“The AI journey doesn’t have a finish line, and we must keep our eyes on the road ahead,” said Mike Thompson, vice president of Enterprise Data Intelligence, who works alongside Kwiatkowski to steer the organization’s AI strategy. “We are building a strong foundation for a future of limitless possibilities.” 

Artificial Intelligence Council 

An essential component of success involves the creation of an Artificial Intelligence Council. It brings together cross-functional leaders—from patient care, research, data and technology teams—to review, guide and coordinate AI strategy. The council provides a forum for open dialogue and an ongoing exchange of ideas while setting priorities, evaluating the use of AI tools and identifying measures of success. 

“The AI Council is a core piece of our commitment to using AI responsibly,” said Jason Moore, PhD, chair of the Department of Computational Biomedicine and a founding member of the council. “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.” 

Artificial Intelligence in Action 

AI can accelerate scientific discovery by advancing the understanding of disease states and potential treatment pathways. At the same time, AI can improve the efficiency and accuracy of clinical data, freeing providers to spend greater face-to-face time with patients. 

Early adoption of artificial intelligence already is making a difference in research and clinical programs at Cedars-Sinai. Examples include: 

  • 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 multicenter clinical studies. 

Although AI initiatives are already having an impact at Cedars-Sinai, those leading the organization’s strategy are busily planning to expand the scope of applications. 

“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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