Announcing the Institute of Artificial Intelligence for Digital Health

Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM) is proud to announce the launch of the Institute of Artificial Intelligence for Digital Health (AIDH).

The institute will focus on developing groundbreaking artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to build research-ready data and derive crucial insights for advancing evidence-based patient care.

The Institute of AIDH is directed by Dr. Fei Wang, associate professor of population health sciences in the Division of Health Informatics. A renowned researcher in the field of computational health, Dr. Wang has a decade of experience in machine learning and AI in medicine and healthcare. During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Wang and his team, in collaboration with colleagues from pathology and laboratory medicine, developed a machine-learning model to accurately predict SARS-CoV-2 infection status from routinely collected blood tests. Their work led to a highly cited publication in Clinical Chemistry. Dr. Wang’s team has also been working on understanding the mechanisms of complex diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, by integrating and analyzing multi-modal data, including neuroimaging and histopathology data, along with electronic health records. Some important directions that Dr. Wang is pursuing include multi-modal learning, federated learning, model explainability, and algorithmic fairness. 

The Institute of AIDH is housed within the Department of Population Health Sciences and supported by Dr. Rainu Kaushal, senior associate dean for clinical research and department chair. “The explosion of data availability has enabled AI’s accelerated growth and application in healthcare. Dr. Wang is generating exciting innovations in this field, and I am proud to see him lead this new endeavor to transform the way healthcare is delivered,” said Dr. Kaushal.

Under Dr. Wang’s leadership, the institute will build on WCM’s existing strengths in computational science and clinical medicine to establish a community of experts across multiple disciplines, facilitate cross-campus collaborations, promote the implementation of AI for digital health technologies across all aspects of medicine and healthcare, and engage in entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. “The research activities from the institute will benefit all three missions of WCM, which are care (AI for digital health technologies for better patient care), discover (AI for digital health technologies to facilitate biomedical discovery and disease understanding), and teach (through the collaborations within the institute to mentor researchers on AI for digital health technologies),” said Dr. Wang.

“Establishment of the Institute of AIDH is a very important step in supporting the ongoing collaborative research and applications of AI in medicine,” said Dr. Jyotishman Pathak, chief of the Division of Health Informatics. “The institute is uniquely positioned to democratize AI methods and tools across WCM faculty and students.”

In recent years, vast amounts of complex information have accumulated at an unprecedented speed at the individual level with the rapid advancement of digital technology. Additionally, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created a critical challenge in public health. “AI technologies, which aim at mimicking human intelligence with computer systems, have demonstrated strong potential in perceiving, synthesizing, and inferring complex information and are becoming popular in many areas of human life and the global economy,” said Dr. Wang. “This institute provides an exciting opportunity and foundation for realizing digital health with AI technologies.”

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