• Vision includes co-development of open platform on which deep learning applications can be created, validated and seamlessly integrated into clinical workflows;
• Focus areas of applications to span multiple medical specialties, including radiology, pathology and population health.
The collaboration will be executed through the newly formed Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Clinical Data Science and will feature co-located, multidisciplinary teams with broad access to data, computational infrastructure and clinical expertise. The initial focus of the relationship will be on the development of applications aimed to improve clinician productivity and patient outcomes in diagnostic imaging. Over time, the groups will create new business models for applying AI to healthcare and develop products for additional medical specialties like molecular pathology, genomics and population health.[i]
“This is an important moment for medicine,” said David Torchiana, MD, CEO of Partners HealthCare. “Clinicians are inundated with data, and the patient experience suffers from inefficiencies in the healthcare industry. By combining the expertise at Mass General and Brigham and Women’s with the spirit of innovation at GE, this partnership has the resources and vision to accelerate the development and adoption of deep learning technology. Together, we can empower clinicians with the tools needed to store, analyze and leverage the flood of information to more effectively deliver care to patients.”
The vision for the collaboration is to implement AI into every aspect of a patient journey from admittance through discharge. Once the deep learning applications are developed and deployed, clinicians and patients will benefit from a variety of tools that span disease areas, diagnostic modalities and treatment strategies and have the potential to do everything from decrease unnecessary biopsies to streamline clinical workflows to increase the amount of time clinicians spend with patients versus performing administrative tasks. Additionally, the teams will co-develop an open platform on which Partners HealthCare, GE Healthcare and third party developers can rapidly prototype, validate and share the applications with hospitals and clinics around the world.
“This is about creating digital tools that will have a profound impact on medicine,” said John Flannery, CEO of GE Healthcare. “By leveraging AI across every patient interaction, workflow challenge and administrative need, this collaboration will drive improvements in quality, cost and access.”
With the initial diagnostic imaging focus, early applications will address cases like determining the prognostic impact of stroke, identifying fractures in the emergency room, tracking how tumors grow or shrink after the administration of novel therapies, and indicating the likelihood of cancer on ultrasound.
The applications are being developed based on three criteria: 1) patient impact, 2) technical capability and 3) market appetite. This is to ensure that the solutions being developed are not solely dependent on the data that’s available but specifically target the top clinician pain points and the most critically ill patients. The goal is to bring the most promising solutions to market faster, so they can start making an impact for hospitals, health systems and patients globally sooner.
Spinal injury patients represent the types of cases where deep learning applications can help clinicians deliver faster, more efficient care, as the patients need to be treated immediately or run the risk of significant and permanent damage. For a single patient, a lumbar spine MRI may generate up to 300 images. In addition, a doctor may need to review prior scans and notes in a patient’s electronic medical record before making a diagnosis. A deep learning application could be leveraged to quickly analyze the data and determine the most critical images for the radiologist to read, shortening the time to treatment for trauma patients, and enabling the clinician to deliver more personalized and comprehensive care for all patients critically injured or not.
The collaboration will be a featured project of the MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science. GE Healthcare was chosen as the primary co-developer because of its shared commitment to digital health, its software and analytics capabilities, and its reputation for driving productivity gains.
“We’re evolving the healthcare system to be able to take advantage of the benefits of deep learning, bringing together hospitals, data sets and clinical and technical minds unlike ever before,” said Keith Dreyer, DO, PhD, Chief Data Science Officer, Departments of Radiology at MGH and BWH. “The scope reflects the reality that advancements in clinical data science require substantial commitments of capital, expertise, personnel and cooperation between the system and industry.”
The collaboration aligns with GE’s ambition to become a top 10 software business by 2020. The company’s recent headquarters move to Boston a global medical and technology hub has helped foster new levels of collaboration with top hospitals and health systems like Partners HealthCare.
“By partnering to bring clinicians smart technology that can be seamlessly integrated into clinical workflows, we’re building a better, digital future for healthcare together,” said Charles Koontz, Chief Digital Officer of GE Healthcare.
[i] Technology in development that represents ongoing research and development efforts. These technologies are not products and may never become products. Not for sale. Not cleared or approved by the U.S. FDA or any other global regulator for commercial availability
About Partners HealthCare
Partners HealthCare (partners.org) is an integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to its two academic medical centers, the Partners system includes community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, community health centers, a physician network, home health and long-term care services, and other health-related entities. Partners is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Partners HealthCare is a non-profit organization.
About the MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science
Founded in 2016, the MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science is a joint center formed by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital to transform healthcare by translating the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI) into improved health outcomes and greater operational efficiency. With deep academic research expertise, access to significant computational power and data resources, and extensive product development and industry experience, the CCDS is uniquely positioned to improve the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and management of diseases through the application and commercial translation of AI techniques.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare (gehealthcare.com) provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions, GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients.
 Technology in development that represents ongoing research and development efforts. These technologies are not products and may never become products. Not for sale. Not cleared or approved by the U.S. FDA or any other global regulator for commercial availability