Meet the partner: GE Healthcare
Amied Shadmaan is Senior Program Manager - Artificial Intelligence Clinical Partnerships at GE Healthcare, and works closely with the NCIMI team. As the largest commercial partner in the NCIMI consortium, GE Healthcare is well placed to take ideas from brain to bedside by sharing talent, software, and equipment.
GE Healthcare's Centricity Clinical Archive is a key element of the partnership. It is the foundational technology for data collection and storage and management of protected data from the participating NHS trusts and will be under governance of the Big Data Institute at the University of Oxford.
We ask Amied why GE and NCIMI make the ideal partnership.
Why is it important for GE Healthcare to be part of NCIMI?
It's an exciting time. MedTech and Al promise to change the landscape for patients, healthcare professionals, hospitals and the NHS.
It has the potential to support earlier detection and prevention of some of the most common and challenging diseases, improving outcomes.
It could offer quicker, more accurate diagnoses and guide subsequent treatment decisions, so they're optimised for each individual. And it could improve efficiencies and operational workflows within hospitals, breaking down walls by creating one truly integrated system.
What makes NCIMI different to other networks or partnerships?
By bringing together a wide range of expertise into one sustainable ecosystem, NCIMI aims to address unmet needs in Al. The consortium provides the infrastructure needed to give industry access to patient data sets that inform multi-modality clinical imaging projects and software development, so that emerging projects can be disseminated and up-scaled across participating NHS trusts.
This is the first time such a multi-stakeholder approach has been adopted for clinical imaging and Al. Integrating different viewpoints to generate patient trust and added value from development to implementation and NHS adoption will give the consortium the power and insight to make Al in healthcare a reality.
What technologies are GE leading on in the AI and healthcare space?
We currently have three projects in development with NCIMI that use GE Healthcare's technologies:
1. PET/CT reconstruction
Why: PET scans are used to stage oncology patients and assess cancers. However, demand is high and the rapid and accurate quantification of lesions can be difficult
How: Develop an algorithm that optimises signal recovery, thus providing superior image quality, as well as predicting how long you need to scan a patient for, and what the image will be like
2. Critical Care Suite
Why: Chest x-rays are the highest volume exam and commonly acquired frequently on the sickest patients. A critical finding requires immediate attention from the physician to stabilize the patient - and long radiologist turnaround times, delaying diagnosis, may put the patient in further danger.
How: Develop an algorithm that accurately locates and identifies critical findings, such as a pneumothorax or collapsed lung, and embed it within the x-ray device to flag cases within seconds of acquisition as needing immediate radiologist review.
3. PET/CT Al-assisted reader
Why: Radiologists in Oncology want to be able to read PET/CT images more quickly and confidently
How: Develop an algorithm detects and classifies cancer on patients' PET/CT images
What challenges are your organisation facing in the area of AI and healthcare?
There are a couple of key challenges we see: the world's perception of AI and data governance.
Perception of Al: A lack of understanding of Al can lead to the perception that it is a dangerous tool, taking decisions out of the hands of clinicians and leaving scope for error through automation. However, Al isn't intended to replace people, it's designed to support them.
Al offers a great opportunity to re-humanise healthcare by freeing up time for clinicians to interact at a human level with their patients. The role of listening and being there for a patient cannot be replaced by Al. Rather, it can help us diagnose faster and with more accuracy.
Data governance: One of the key factors that could undermine people's confidence in healthcare Al is poor data governance. Questions such as 'who owns my data?', 'what do they know?', 'who has access to it?', 'is it accurate?' and 'could it be misused?' are currently at the forefront of the public and professional conscience.
People are already sceptical about sharing their information with multinational, 'big data' companies. Recent scandals where data has been misused and shared without following the proper procedures and permissions have complicated matters further, undermining trust and confidence.
That's why GE and NCIMI are working continuously to ensure robust data governance flows through every aspect of our work, so our data remains both consistent and trustworthy.
What are you looking forward to developing within the NCIMI network?
Very little is certain in such a rapidly-evolving world. New opportunities present themselves; novel technologies are developed; and unique challenges arise.
It's clear that the old-fashioned methods of working are no longer fit for purpose. Al innovation will no longer be developed behind closed doors, but instead, it will thrive as part of a wider ecosystem, utilising the skills and expertise of many stakeholders to ensure an idea can become a reality. So, no matter where the future takes us, we'll have the academic, clinical and commercial insight needed to lead the way in healthcare transformation.
Read more about NCIMI and GE Healthcare's partnership through the whitepaper, Integrating Artificial Intelligence into Healthcare.