Partners HealthCare taps AI to bring ultrasound to point of care

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Boston-based Partners HealthCare is teaming with FUJIFILM SonoSite to enhance ultrasound technology with artificial intelligence for use at the point of care.

Under the partnership with Seattle’s FUJIFILM SonoSite, the first area of focus will be on some of the more complex emergency medicine procedures using AI-enabled portable ultrasound.

“Allowing for even greater integration of ultrasound into our healthcare delivery system requires smarter machines,” says Keith Dreyer, chief data science officer at Partners HealthCare. “In emergency settings, the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of portable ultrasound makes it a critical companion to other imaging modalities.”

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“If we build scanners that can be used by non-expert users both inside and outside the hospital, we can likely reduce the time delay between trauma and diagnosis, which will translate to more rapid interventions and improved outcomes,” adds Andrew Liteplo, MD, an attending physician at Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Emergency Medicine and chief of the division of ultrasound.

In addition to emergency medicine, AI-enabled portable ultrasound that can be accessible at the point of care is seen as a potentially important diagnostic tool in the field of obstetrics, according to Partners HealthCare.

The collaboration is being facilitated by the Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Clinical Data Science, which was created in 2016 to leverage advances in AI to improve health outcomes and achieve greater operational efficiency.

“This collaboration is really focused on embedding AI in portable ultrasound with the goal of automating the segmentation of organ boundaries, measurement of anatomic features and calculation of physiological parameters—the type of automation that will allow us to increase the accessibility of this critical technology while still delivering high diagnostic value,” notes Diku Mandavia, MD, FUJIFILM SonoSite’s senior vice president and chief medical officer.

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