Mayo’s AI Model

SAN DIEGO – What’s behind the slow clinical adoption of artificial intelligence? That question permeated the discussion at this week’s AIMed Global Summit, an up-and-coming conference dedicated to AI in healthcare.

Running June 4-7, this week’s meeting saw hundreds of healthcare professionals gather in San Diego. Radiology figured prominently as the medical specialty with a lion’s share of the over 500 FDA-cleared AI algorithms available for clinical use.

But being available for use and actually being used are two different things. A common refrain at AIMed 2023 was slow clinical uptake of AI, a problem widely attributed to difficulties in deploying and implementing the technology. One speaker noted that less than 5% of practices are using AI today.

One way to spur AI adoption is the platform approach, in which AI apps are vetted by a single entity for inclusion in a marketplace from which clinicians can pick and choose what they want. 

The platform approach is gaining steam in radiology, but Mayo Clinic is rolling the platform concept out across its entire healthcare enterprise. First launched in 2019, Mayo Clinic Platform aims to help clinicians enjoy the benefits of AI without the implementation headache, according to Halim Abbas, senior director of AI at Mayo, who discussed Mayo’s progress on the platform at AIMed. 

The Mayo Clinic Platform has several main features:

  • Each medical specialty maintains its own internal AI R&D team with access to its own AI applications 
  • At the same time, Mayo operates a centralized AI operation that provides tools and services accessible across departments, such as data de-identification and harmonization, augmented data curation, and validation benchmarks
  • Clinical data is made available outside the -ologies, but the data is anonymized and secured, an approach Mayo calls “data behind glass”

Mayo Clinic Platform gives different -ologies some ownership of AI, but centralizes key functions and services to improve AI efficiency and smooth implementation. 

The Takeaway 

Mayo Clinic Platform offers an intriguing model for AI deployment. By removing AI’s implementation pain points, Mayo hopes to ramp up clinical utilization, and Mayo has the organizational heft and technical expertise to make it work (see below for news on Mayo’s new generative AI deal with Google Cloud). 

But can Mayo’s AI model be duplicated at smaller health systems and community providers that don’t have its IT resources? Maybe we’ll find out at AIMed 2024.

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