Mount Sinai Health System unveils new department devoted to developing artificial intelligence

Steven Loeb · October 11, 2021 · Short URL:

The goal is to create an AI framework that can be used in its 8 hospitals and 415 ambulatory clinics

Artificial intelligence has become de rigueur in every industry, but perhaps nowhere is it more important than in healthcare, where the technology is giving hospitals and clinicians better insights into their patients' health. By allowing them to identify potential risks, and then intervening earlier, it literally save people's lives. That may be why AI in healthcare is growing so quickly: it's expected to reach over $120 billion globally by 2028, with a compound annual growth rate of 41.8%. 

Now, one of of the nation's top hospital systems has launched a new department focused on artificial intelligence, which it says is the first ever within a U.S. medical school.

On Monday, the Mount Sinai Health System, New York City’s largest academic medical system, which includes eight hospitals, a medical school, and a network of ambulatory practices, unveiled the Department of Artificial Intelligence and Human Health. It will help integrate machine learning and AI into Mount Sinai's hospitals, as well as its satellites, so that all of its physicians and researchers have access to this technology.  

"Our mission is to create an AI 'Intelligent fabric' that will infuse machine-learning and AI-driven decision-making throughout the Mount Sinai Health System’s eight hospitals and more than 400 ambulatory clinics. This intelligent fabric will make available the tools and techniques of artificial intelligence to all Mount Sinai researchers and physicians, facilitating both emergency reactions and long-term strategic decisions," it says on the department's website.

The Department of AI and Human Health is also launching a campaign to recruit researchers, scientists, physicians, and students in the field of artificial intelligence, in order to "develop relationships to expand the Department’s reach."

In addition to its hospitals, the Mount Sinai Health System also includes around 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 415 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers.

To house the new department, Mount Sinai will be renovating a facility located at 3 East 101st Street, near the center of its main campus on New York City's Upper East Side. The facility, which will include areas for computational work and advanced imaging modalities, including virtual and augmented reality, is expected to be completed sometime before the end of next year. 

Leading The Department of AI and Human Health will be Thomas J. Fuchs,, Dean for Artificial Intelligence and Human Health, Co-Director of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Health at Mount Sinai, and Professor of Computational Pathology and Computer Science in the Department of Pathology at Icahn Mount Sinai.

Fuchs joined Mount Sinai a year ago, before which he was Director of the Warren Alpert Center for Digital and Computational Pathology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Associate Professor at Weill Cornell Graduate School for Medical Sciences. He is also a co-founder of Paige.AI, a company that uses artificial intelligence to help pathologists diagnose and treat cancer.

“Mount Sinai’s AI enterprise and its collective entities will be the connective fabric linking and integrating our work throughout the entire Health System, as we robustly collaborate with all our institutes, departments, and centers to provide phenomenal patient care,” Fuchs said in a statement.

“The overarching goal of the Department for AI and Human Health is to impact patients’ health with AI. We will accomplish this by building AI systems at scale from data representing Mount Sinai’s diverse patient population. These systems will work seamlessly across all hospitals and care units to support physicians, foster research, and most importantly help patients' care and well-being.”

The launch of the new department follows an announcement in April that the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai would begin offering a new PhD concentration in Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies in Medicine (AIET) as part of its PhD in Biomedical Sciences program starting next year. 

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