New University of Md. Institute Aims to Transform Medicine Using Big Data, AI

The University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State announced a partnership to establish the University of Maryland 3 – Institute for Health Computing, which is being led by the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the University of Maryland, College Park, in collaboration with the University of Maryland Medical System and Montgomery County.

This new institute will aim to leverage recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and computing to create a premier learning health care system that evaluates both de-identified and secure digitized medical health data to diagnose, prevent and treat diseases in patients across Maryland.

Harnessing the innovations in health care technologies has become an urgent priority as our nation faces an economic crisis and contends with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Health care leaders have long recognized that health care efficiencies can be greatly improved with the digitization of medical records.

The new institute will incorporate technologies, including the use of machine-learning algorithms, to study emerging diseases and help establish precision patient care to halt disease progression. For example, poorly controlled diabetes, high blood pressure, risk of opioid overdose, and early kidney disease can be identified by trending changes in lab tests in outpatients, allowing targeted interventions to prevent disease progression. Such efforts will lead to improved care for the patient yielding better diagnoses and treatments tailored to an individual’s unique health needs.

The U.S. speed to discovery of a vaccine for COVID-19 during the pandemic was reliant on AI to accelerate advances in the underlying lab research. North Bethesda’s proximity to NIST, NIH, FDA, Walter Reed, and the Naval Medical Research Center provides a prime location for this novel and urgent cutting-edge research. The Institute at North Bethesda will bring together world-class researchers from two university partners prominent in these fields to explore how AI, machine learning, and virtual and augmented reality can facilitate knowledge discovery for human health and well-being.

New immersive and 5G wireless technologies will further increase the availability and capability of telehealth functions, particularly in rural communities. Virtual and augmented reality over 5G networks will expand the diagnostic capabilities of clinicians.

The institute will catalyze a clinical data science ecosystem at North Bethesda that draws FDA and NIH investigators, UMB and UMCP faculty, medical bioinformatic educational programs and students, and industry partners, allowing expansion of computational “dry” laboratories, virtual meeting rooms and classrooms.

The institute is expected to open in leased space in early 2023, with final completion of laboratory and office space at the North Bethesda Metro location in 2028. Initial funding of $25 million is provided by MPower. Montgomery County government will provide an additional $40 million to develop the North Bethesda site.

AI, artificial intelligence, Big Data, MPowering the State, University of Maryland 3, University of Maryland Strategic Partnership

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