The MGH and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have formed the MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science (CCDS), a collaboration made possible with investments from both hospitals and their respective Radiology departments. The CCDS aims to transform health care by applying the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI).

Founded in 2016, the CCDS has quickly become a leading hospital-based initiative for innovation in health care AI. By using AI techniques – such as machine learning and artificial neural networks – the center is building systems to improve the detection, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases. With an initial focus in medical imaging and diagnostics, the CCDS now is expanding into a broader set of opportunities across a wide variety of medical applications. 

“We are excited about the potential impact that the CCDS will have on patient care – both for medical imaging as well as other fields in the future,” says James A. Brink, MD, chief of the MGH Department of Radiology. “The innovations the CCDS will support promise to be the next steps in providing the best care to our patients – from the first diagnosis to the final treatment.”

The CCDS is currently exploring multiple partnerships with industry to co-develop and validate algorithms that can recognize patterns of disease and advance diagnostic capabilities. It also is actively building a corps of data scientists, developers and fellows to train and test models with the potential for commercialization. As the organization scales and leverages data repositories throughout the Partners eCare ecosystem, it will access a significant patient population for clinical evaluation of its products and establish a technology infrastructure to facilitate improvements in workflow efficiency.

Over the next several months, the CCDS will host forums with clinicians at the MGH and BWH to introduce its work, solicit feedback and seek collaboration. It currently supports more than 20 machine-learning research projects in various stages of development and validation.

“The MGH & BWH Center for Clinical Data Science combines the predictive power of data science with vast stores of biomedical information and extensive expertise at MGH and the Brigham to innovate clinical practice,” said Peter L. Slavin, MD, MGH president. “It will undoubtedly inform the next generation of information services at Partners and the myriad operational efficiencies that will follow.” 

This article was originally published in the 04/07/17 Hotline issue.