Unique partnership aims to accelerate the adoption of AI in healthcare

The Michener Institute of Education at UHN and Vector Institute are setting out to transform the skills and capabilities of front-line healthcare professionals in the application of artificial intelligence (“AI”) to health services. Thanks to a two-year, $1.52 million grant from Future Skills Centre, the organizations will partner with other healthcare and academic groups to empower a workforce with the knowledge, skills, and capabilities to embed AI in patient care with compassion.

The project, called Accelerating the Adoption of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare, is a unique opportunity that brings together some of the world’s top AI minds in Canada to teach healthcare professionals. This unique partnership combines comprehensive AI and education design expertise with access to real-time clinical practice and patient feedback. The goal is to develop and evaluate new approaches to better equip healthcare organizations and professions with the skills required to accelerate the adoption of new technologies.

AI-enabled clinical decision-making and expert systems that simulate clinical reasoning are rapidly emerging areas of medicine and clinical care, yet there is a lack of understanding of how AI can and should be used in many healthcare fields and professions.”

Dr. David Wiljer, Project co-lead, Executive Director of Digital Education at The Michener Institute of Education at UHN

“The potential for AI to transform the delivery of healthcare through predictive and preventive AI therapeutics is tremendous. We believe this project will help fill an enormous knowledge gap in how to educate and train the healthcare workforce to use AI in effective and compassionate ways.”

“Vector Institute currently has a number of projects underway with the potential to translate world-class AI research into health benefits for patients. These projects will have the greatest impact if there is an AI-enabled healthcare workforce,” says project co-lead Laurent Moreno, Director of Health AI Applications at Vector Institute.

This is a unique opportunity to combine the expertise of our two organizations. Our partnership will facilitate the education of healthcare workers in cutting-edge AI techniques, strengthen health system capacity to achieve the potential benefits of AI in health service delivery, and demonstrate how machine learning can support clinicians in providing better services to Canadian patients.”

Roxana Sultan, Vice President, Health at Vector Institute

“The current crisis is creating a great deal of uncertainty for Canadian households and sectors. An economic recovery that works for all Canadians will require that we start to build a skills development ecosystem that is more responsive to the changing realities of workers and employers,” says FSC Executive Director Pedro Barata. “These partnerships will help us map out lasting solutions that will help Canadians across the country recover now and thrive in the years to come.”

There are three stages to the project. The first stage, called Transforming the Mindset, will develop a basic AI awareness and literacy training program for clinical staff, aiming to help them embrace the culture of AI. The second, Transforming the Skillset, will involve the development and delivery of advanced AI literacy and training programs. The third, Transforming the Toolset, will develop AI leaders through more intensive training programs. A monitoring and coaching program will also be established to help make the learning ‘stick.’

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