VCH contributes to Iris, Canada’s first AI co-pilot for DI
July 27, 2022
VANCOUVER – Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) will be the primary data provider for the Iris Platform, Canada’s first artificial intelligence-based co-pilot for diagnostic imaging analysis and course-of-treatment planning and monitoring. VCH and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) are joining GE Healthcare, Konica Minolta, the University of British Columbia and BC Cancer on this project as a part of the Digital Supercluster, led by Synthesis Health.
The project has a total investment of $13.5 million, with $8.35 million invested from industry and $5.25 million co-invested through the Digital Supercluster.
Diagnostic imaging is used to determine course of treatment, monitor treatment response, predict the likelihood of disease and diagnose injury or illness. The rise of demand for medical imaging following the pandemic has resulted in increased volume as well as communication and workflow challenges due to remote work environments, impacting successful medical treatment and timely intervention.
Iris will increase the speed and accuracy of front-line course-of-treatment decisions and improve the ability of radiologists and physicians to consistently find abnormalities in radiology images. By reducing the variability of interpretation amongst clinicians, interpretation of examinations and the quality of care to patients can be improved. Iris will also better streamline communication and workflow processes, adding to speed and accuracy the ability to address large volumes of medical images.
“Vancouver General Hospital is the quaternary care stroke Centre of Excellence for British Columbia and VCH is providing more than ten years of clinical data related to stroke and related conditions to this initiative. Researchers from VCHRI will contribute clinical and research expertise to make the best use of this rich dataset,” said Dr. Thalia Field (pictured), stroke neurologist and clinician-researcher at VCH. “The aim is to develop AI tools to enhance risk-stratification and risk prediction to guide therapeutic strategies, conserve resources and improve clinical workflows.”
The Digital Supercluster is uniquely positioned to leverage scalable technology, existing machine learning development platforms and bridge academia and industry expertise to create and integrate Iris. The project will establish a National Advisory Council on AI in Healthcare with the goal of enhancing Canada’s reputation as a global powerhouse in this field.
“Our government is proud to support this project, which demonstrates the full potential that artificial intelligence can have on the daily lives of Canadians,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and tndustry. “This made-in-Canada solution will build resilience in our healthcare systems while further cementing Canada’s position as a global leader in artificial intelligence.”
The platform will combine a number of machine learning models to function as a trusted AI co-pilot for diagnostic imaging clinical decision support by reviewing every diagnostic test in real-time to identify abnormalities and analyzing every radiology report, leveraging natural language understanding tools for quality assurance, patient monitoring, follow-ups and syntactic and semantic interoperability.
“Iris will democratize access to a modern clinical care pathway, regardless of geographic or socio-economic disparities, while improving the overall quality of patient care,” said Dr. Deepak Kaura, chief medical officer at Synthesis Health. “Our consortium is uniquely positioned to leverage scalable technology, existing machine learning development platforms, and bridge academia and industry expertise to create and integrate Iris.”
The project will also establish a National Advisory Council on AI in Healthcare with the goal of enhancing Canada’s reputation as a global powerhouse for AI in healthcare. The council will bring together key leaders from across Canada to share learnings, impact decision-making and create a responsible balance between innovation and patient safety.
“Advances in imaging technology and computerization not only enhance radiographic practice but also benefit patient diagnosis and treatment. Artificial Intelligence derives important insights to help transform healthcare. VCHRI is committed to increasing the breadth and diversity of talent in the digital technology sector through strengthening collaborations among public, industry and academic leaders,” said Dr. David Granville, executive director at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI).
Learn more about Iris here.
About the Digital Supercluster
The Digital Supercluster is building a better Canada by growing Canadian businesses, creating a digitally skilled workforce and positively impacting lives across our country. We accelerate the development and adoption of digital technologies that keep Canadians healthy, address climate change and drive economic productivity. Through a powerful combination of co-investment, cross-sector collaboration, IP creation and digital talent development, we unlock the potential of Canadians to lead and succeed in the digital world. For more information, visit https://www.digitalsupercluster.ca/