Mount Sinai to launch dedicated AI research center in 2021

The Hamilton and Amabel James Center for Artificial Intelligence and Human Health will focus on genomics, modeling and prediction of novel therapies and enhanced imaging.
By Dave Muoio
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Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine has revealed plans for a new center for research, development and implementation of artificial intelligence for healthcare.

Called the Hamilton and Amabel James Center for Artificial Intelligence and Human Health, the Manhattan site is scheduled to open its doors sometime in the later part of 2021. The school is looking to have roughly 40 principal investigators of various disciplines on hand for opening, as well as 250 graduate students, postdocs, computer scientists and other support staff.

“Mount Sinai has consistently been at the forefront of advancing health care across medical disciplines and this initiative represents our next step forward in building on that legacy,” Dr. Kenneth L. Davis, president and CEO of the Mount Sinai Health System. “We see the potential of [AI] to radically transform the care that patients receive, and we want to shape and lead this effort. We are grateful to Mr. and Mrs. James for their generous gift, which will create a hub where our talented researchers can collaborate in unprecedented ways and bring forward ideas and innovative technologies that achieve better outcomes for our patients.”

WHY IT MATTERS

As New York City’s largest integrated health delivery network, Mount Sinai’s new effort could translate into major treatment and technology rollouts within each of the center’s three major areas of focus. According to the announcement, these will take the form of a new Center for Genomic Health housed within the larger facility; new efforts to apply AI and machine learning to model and predict novel therapies for numerous conditions; and AI-based diagnostic and molecular imaging.

“We are looking at a future where artificial intelligence has the capacity to completely disrupt health care and Mount Sinai is going to be at the forefront of that revolution, driving the conversation, engaging stakeholders worldwide in developing solutions, and making this bold future a reality,” Dr. Dennis S. Charney, dean of the Icahn School of Medicine and president for Academic Affairs at the Mount Sinai Health System, said in a statement.

WHAT’S THE TREND

Mount Sinai’s new AI-focused center comes just a few short months after the health system and the Hasso Plattner Institute jointly announced a new institute for digital health. This collaboration, backed by a $15 million gift from the German IT systems engineering research facility, aims to guide new projects that will test prototype digital health tools in the US and Europe, among other goals. Prior to this was the launch of another research center devoted to blockchain implementations in healthcare.

“Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are spurring innovation across many different fields, but perhaps most significantly in health care,” Hamilton James, executive vice chairman of New York investment firm Blackstone and the donor for which the new center is named, said in a statement. “Mount Sinai has proven itself a pioneer in data mining to improve patient diagnosis and treatment, and I am pleased to support its mission and accelerate the development of cutting-edge therapies and technologies that have the potential to change lives around the world.”

Such efforts are in line with those of other major health systems. For instance, Cleveland Clinic announced the launch of its own Center for Clinical Artificial Intelligence in March of this year, while NewYork-Presbyterian launched an off-site AI command center back in 2017.