July 13, 2023

IVADO and CIFAR join forces to develop AI in the healthcare sector

IVADO is pleased to announce this strategic partnership with CIFAR, which reinforces its commitment to advancing responsible AI in Canadian healthcare systems, in line with its R3AI program aimed at developing robust, reasoning and responsible AI.

Integrated AI for Health Imaging

Each year, billions of diagnostic imaging studies are performed within the healthcare sector, marking an opportune moment for the integration of AI and machine learning. Despite this, no AI platform has yet been broadly implemented across Canadian healthcare settings to assist doctors with diagnostic studies interpretations. Current AI solutions remain limited, being restricted to standalone platforms like smartphone applications, or embedded within commercial offerings such as the proprietary software of transthoracic echocardiogram machines.

Based in the Montréal health system, the team will deploy a custom software called “PACS AI” that they have already designed and integrated across three Canadian hospitals. The software enables a more accurate and safe analysis of both imaging studies and and electrocardiograms that are saved in the Pictures Archiving Communication System (PACS) system, which is a universal infrastructure already in use across Canada. The system is distinct from other platforms because of its interoperability, and because it allows for provider accountability, tracking, and safe ongoing system learning and user feedback. The system will also provide AI fairness metrics for the models and datasets it uses, to help clinicians better understand the limits and applicability of its training data for more reliable diagnostics across demographics.

“We envision that by the conclusion of this three-year initiative, the PACS AI program will redefine the status quo, becoming the cornerstone for integrating AI models into Canadian healthcare practice,” says Robert Avram, Co-Director of the Integrated AI for Health Imaging CIFAR Solution Network, who is affiliated with both the Montréal Heart Institute and Université de Montréal. Avram sees this leap forward as more than a possibility: “It’s a commitment to the future of healthcare.” Joining Avram as Co-Director of the Solution Network is Samuel Kadoury of Polytechnique Montréal, an expert in AI and medical imaging.

The project will also advance the wider field of AI in healthcare by sharing the software as open source, enabling developers worldwide to collaborate and continue to improve the platform and define new integrations across the different healthcare systems worldwide.

The Integrated AI for Health Imaging Solution Network will receive more than $900,000 in funding over three years, co-funded by IVADO and CIFAR which is an interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral research, training and knowledge mobilization consortium based out of the Université de Montréal with a mission to advance the responsible use of AI. The project is the first in a recently announced series of initiatives from IVADO and CIFAR that will develop a range of AI solutions that promise societal benefit.

Says Luc Vinet, Chief Executive Officer of IVADO, “We are pleased to announce this strategic partnership with CIFAR, which reinforces our commitment to advancing responsible AI in Canadian health systems together. By co-funding and co-sponsoring the CIFAR Solution Networks Program, we aim to foster intersectoral research and develop networks that will drive innovative solutions to urgent challenges. This exceptional collaboration to support this Quebec based team exemplifies our shared vision and reinforces our collective efforts to strengthen Canada and Quebec’s leadership in responsible AI development and deployment.”

CIFAR Solution Network members:

Robert Avram (Co-Director) – Montréal Heart Institute | Université de Montréal
Samuel Kadoury (Co-Director) – Polytechnique Montréal | Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal
Sarath Chandar – Polytechnique Montréal | Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Mila
Pierre-Luc Déziel – Université Laval
Julie Hussin – Université de Montréal
Pascal Thériault Lauzier – University of Ottawa Heart Institute | Stanford University

About CIFAR – https://cifar.ca/fr 

CIFAR is a global research organization founded in 1982. Today, it is a leader in the global research community. Over the years, more than 1,000 researchers from over 30 countries have contributed to its research programs as fellows, advisors, Canada-CIFAR AI Chairholders and CIFAR-Azrieli Global Researchers. The research community is regularly awarded prestigious research prizes such as the Breakthrough Prize, the Turing Award, the European Körber Science Prize and the Nobel Prize.

About IVADO – https://ivado.ca 

IVADO is an interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral  research, training and knowledge mobilization consortium whose mission is to develop and promote a robust, reasoning and responsible AI. Led by Université de Montréal with four university partners (Polytechnique Montréal, HEC Montréal, Université Laval and McGill University), IVADO brings together research centres, government bodies and industry members to co-build ambitious cross-sectoral initiatives with the goal of fostering a paradigm shift for AI and its adoption.