TD Bank gifts $1 million for AI lab at Sunnybrook
December 1, 2021
TORONTO – Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre has launched a new artificial intelligence (AI) research lab thanks to a $1-million donation from TD Bank Group.
The Augmented Precision Medicine Lab will develop cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) systems to help improve the clinical care that patients receive in the fields of cardiology, cancer and other chronic diseases. Sunnybrook’s rich and complex data stores will be harnessed to develop clinical risk prediction models that will enable physicians to provide personalized care to patients and potentially improve outcomes.
With this investment, Sunnybrook will have the resources it needs to build technological infrastructure, attract more talent, and accelerate a number of innovative projects either planned or underway.
“This generous gift will unite medical experts, computer scientists and industry partners to harness the power of big data and machine learning to drive personalized approaches to medicine,” says Kelly Cole, president and CEO, Sunnybrook Foundation. “TD has long been a dedicated supporter of innovation at Sunnybrook and we are delighted to take this next step together.”
The Augmented Precision Medicine Lab will work closely with industry partners to develop powerful new diagnostic tools, bring them to communities across Canada, and ultimately improve health outcomes.
“AI in medicine will undoubtedly improve the quality of care that patients receive, and, perhaps more importantly, it will improve healthcare equity by dramatically widening access to underserved communities and populations,” says Dr. Alexander Bilbily (pictured), a physician and computer scientist at Sunnybrook who will serve as the director of the new lab. “And by recognizing the essential role that industry plays in healthcare, we create a clear path from the lab to the patient where these tools can have a real impact on the patient journey.”
The Augmented Precision Medicine Lab’s first project aims to leverage Sunnybrook’s extensive experience with patients with COVID-19 to create AI tools that can identify which patients are more likely to deteriorate. This will enable doctors to closely monitor and improve care for these patients. The tool is being developed for use in smaller community hospitals, which demonstrates how AI can extend the reach of medical knowledge to smaller centres with less experience, thereby improving healthcare equity for patients in underserved areas.
“The funding announced will help Sunnybrook enhance its research and develop AI technologies to advance quality healthcare for patients who need it most,” says Janice Farrell Jones, SVP, Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship, TD Bank Group. “Through the TD Ready Commitment, the Bank’s corporate citizenship platform, we are proud to support this important initiative that will ultimately help patients living with cardiac conditions, cancer and other chronic diseases access equitable and personalized care.”