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Kaiser Permanente sponsors real-world demonstrations of AI, machine learning in health care


5 organizations receive funding to rigorously evaluate AI that improves patient care 

OAKLAND, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2023) — The Kaiser Permanente Augmented Intelligence in Medicine and Healthcare Initiative (AIM-HI) Coordinating Center today announced that it has awarded 5 health care organizations with funding to pursue research projects deploying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms to enhance diagnostic decision-making in health care.

AIM-HI, which is housed in the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research (DOR), is leading a national research effort focused on rigorously evaluating the implementation of AI and machine learning algorithms in health care. Awardees receive grants of up to $750,000, supported through funds from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, to demonstrate the value of these technologies in diverse, real-world settings.

The AIM-HI program received more than 120 applications spanning a broad range of AI and ML applications in health care including predictive models, computer vision, and large language models. As the sponsor of this initiative, Kaiser Permanente was not eligible for funding.

“Given the tremendous excitement about AI and ML to improve patient care and outcomes, I was not surprised to see vigorous interest in AIM-HI,” said Vincent Liu, MD, principal investigator of AIM-HI, a DOR research scientist, and intensivist physician with The Permanente Medical Group. “Choosing from among a large number of innovative and impactful projects was really challenging. Ultimately, we selected a balanced portfolio that addresses real-world challenges across diverse technologies, health care settings, and patient groups.”

The grant recipients are:

  • Cesar Termulo, Jr., MD; Parkland Health, Dallas
    • Generalizing an AI/ML Model for Pediatric Asthma Care in Safety Net Health Settings
  • David Ouyang, MD; The Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
    • High Throughput Precision Identification of Cardiac Amyloidosis in a Diverse Population
  • Sivasubramanium Bhavani, MD, MS; Emory University, Atlanta
    • Precision Resuscitation with Crystalloids in Sepsis (the PRECISE trial)
  • Fatima Munoz, MD, MPH; Centro de Salud de la Comunidad de San Ysidro, Inc. dba: San Ysidro Health, San Diego
    • Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Point-of-Care Artificial Intelligence
  • Peter J. Embí, MD, MS; Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville
    • Advancing Novel Approaches and Best Practices for Effective AI-Enabled Diagnosis using Randomized Trials, Algorithmovigilance, and Proactive Risk Assessment

The grants cover a 3-year project period, during which the AIM-HI Coordinating Center and AIM-HI Advisory Committee will provide support to grantees. Support includes sharing best practices, disseminating lessons learned, and advancing the use of AI and ML in health care.

“These impressive and diverse projects are at the forefront of AI innovation and effective deployment,” noted Stephen M. Parodi, MD, executive vice president, The Permanente Federation and The Permanente Medical Group. “All five hold promise to improve medicine’s capability to bring these cutting-edge technologies to responsibly improve patient outcomes.”

Maria Ansari, MD, FACC, CEO and executive director, The Permanente Medical Group, shares the enthusiasm for AI in medicine. “The AIM-HI effort reflects the long history of data-driven approaches to patient care that Kaiser Permanente has pioneered for decades,” she said. “Supporting other health care organizations as they assess AI and ML algorithms in each of their unique health care settings is a fulfillment of our vision and commitment to clinicians, patients, and communities.”

About Permanente Medical Groups 
The Permanente Medical Groups are self-governed, physician-led, prepaid, multispecialty medical groups composed of nearly 24,000 physicians. We are dedicated to the mission of improving the health of our patients and communities. Together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, we are Kaiser Permanente — an award-winning health care system that delivers Permanente Medicine, care that is person- and family-centered, compassionate, evidence-based, technology-enabled, culturally responsive, team-delivered and physician-led, to 12.6 million Kaiser Permanente members. We work collaboratively, enabled by state-of-the art facilities and technology, to provide world-class preventive and complex care centered in eight states — from Hawaii to Maryland — and the District of Columbia.

About The Permanente Federation
The Permanente Federation LLC is the national leadership and consulting organization for the Permanente Medical Groups, which, together with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, comprise Kaiser Permanente. The Federation works on behalf of the Permanente Medical Groups to optimize care delivery and spread Permanente Medicine — care that is person- and family-centered, compassionate, evidence-based, technology-enabled, culturally responsive, team-delivered and physician-led. The Federation, based in Oakland, California, fosters an open learning environment and accelerates research, innovation, and performance improvements across the Permanente Medical Groups to expand the reach of Kaiser Permanente’s integrated care delivery model and to lead the nation in transforming health care delivery.

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