Emory Launches AI Institute to Improve Patient Care, Health Equity

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Emory University announced it is launching a new institute this month that will harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide more cost-effective and equitable care for patients with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions.

The Emory Empathetic AI for Health Institute (Emory AI.Health) will work to develop and implement AI technologies to enhance patient health and wellness, emphasizing health equity by making care more affordable and accessible. To accomplish this, it seeks to establish a diverse network of experts from Emory, the Atlanta VA Medical Center, Georgia Tech, and beyond, while also forming public-private partnerships to accelerate research.

“Emory AI.Health brings together a dream team of researchers and clinicians who are deploying AI innovations to improve care not only for individuals, but entire populations,” said Ravi V. Bellamkonda, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, in a statement. “By combining state-of-the-art approaches to precisely treat each person’s unique disease with a broad focus on enhanced efficacy, affordability, and access, AI.Health will advance Emory’s mission of serving humanity both in Georgia and worldwide.”

The institute is part of the university’s AI.Humanity initiative, a campuswide project that fosters an interdisciplinary community focused on integrating AI into fields beyond STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Emory AI.Health will initially focus on improving care for underserved communities in Atlanta, with plans to expand AI technologies globally.

“There is a critical need to develop dedicated AI-based risk-prediction models for minority patients,” says Anant Madabhushi, the institute’s director and a Robert W. Woodruff professor of biomedical engineering at Emory and Georgia Tech. “The reduction in cost resulting from AI-informed precision medicine, as well as the elimination of the need for invasive biopsies, are even greater boons to underserved and under-resourced populations locally in Atlanta, nationally and globally.”