Mount Sinai Receives Microsoft AI for Health Grant to Support Center Dedicated to Data Science Discovery for COVID-19

The Mount Sinai Health System has received an award from Microsoft AI for Health to support the work of a new data science center dedicated to COVID-19 research. The Mount Sinai COVID Informatics Center (MSCIC) brings together leaders from entities across Mount Sinai, including the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Health, the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, and the BioMedical Engineering and Imaging Institute.

“This partnership with Microsoft provides us with cloud resources that will accelerate our discovery, translation and implementation of digital tools in the fight against COVID-19,” said Robbie Freeman, Vice President of Clinical Innovation at The Mount Sinai Hospital. “Through this collaboration with AI for Health, we are leveraging the expertise of the Mount Sinai Health System in delivering world-class patient care and the Azure cloud to bring our AI-enabled products from bench to bedside.”

The philanthropic Microsoft AI for Health Grant will support the care of patients with the coronavirus, enabling the Center to develop tools using artificial intelligence (AI) that enhance care and evidence-based medicine for treating COVID-19 patients. MSCIC will use Microsoft Azure cloud computing to provide researchers with access and storage for complex patient data from multiple sources including electronic health records and novel research studies. MSCIC researchers said the grant will enhance their ability to rapidly translate data science research and methods back to patient care in hospitals.

“The unprecedented threat of COVID-19 allowed MSCIC to quickly integrate data from across the Health System and address an unmet need among Mount Sinai clinicians and researchers to perform rapid clinical informatics analyses and provide answers to critical questions that could impact how patients are treated,” said Patricia Savi Glowe, Senior Director of Strategy and Operations for the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Health, and Research Operations Lead for the MSCIC Executive Management Team.

MSCIC represents expertise in health care delivery, health sciences, biomedical and digital engineering, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. The Center seeks to provide Mount Sinai with data analytic solutions to combat current and future threats of COVID-19, as well as rapidly develop digital health products with real-time predictive and preventive capabilities that empower patients and health care providers and improve health and health outcomes. The Center most recently launched a study called Warrior Watch, following hundreds of health care workers to monitor biometrics such as heart rate variability, sleep disruption and physical activity, through an Apple Watch in conjunction with regular surveys to better understand the level of stress and anxiety they face on the front lines of this crisis.

Girish Nadkarni, MD, Clinical Director of the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Health and Co-Chair of MSCIC, said the Center’s ability to capture up-to-date clinical and research data can be used to mitigate and recover from public health emergencies such as COVID-19. “Our work will help fuel research discoveries that help our patients in real time, as well as over time, as we assess the impact of COVID-19 on our health workers at Mount Sinai,” he said.

The Microsoft grant, which is awarded by the AI for Health program within the AI for Good initiative, empowers researchers and organizations with AI tools and capabilities to advance the health of people and communities around the world.

“At Microsoft, we know that technology and AI have tremendous power to benefit people affected by COVID-19,” said John Kahan, Chief Data Analytics Officer and global lead for the AI for Health program. “That’s why it’s so important to empower organizations such as the Mount Sinai Health System, to bring together COVID-19 data and researchers using AI to support patients and healthcare professionals during these uncertain times.”

The future vision of the center extends beyond the current pandemic, said Alexander Charney, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Neuroscience, and Neurosurgery, and Co-Chair of MSCIC. “With support from industry leaders like Microsoft, we’ve not only enhanced our ability to combat COVID-19 in the immediate future, but with this infrastructure, we have opened up a whole new opportunity into how we can improve patient outcomes across the spectrum of human disease,” he said.

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