College hosts inaugural AI4Health conference
Over 140 attended first-ever AI CME meeting in Orlando
May 2, 2023 — A palpable buzz of excitement could be felt as attendees began slowly filing in through the hallways of the stately Disney Yacht Club Resort. After checking in, conferencegoers explored the convention space’s quiet elegance and gentle nautical touches, while looking over the event’s program of speakers and panels. The buzz carried into the ballroom during welcoming remarks, which offered an overview of the vision of this first AI gathering and continued when participants gathered on the waterfront boardwalk for a reception of hors d’oeuvres and conversations with colleagues new and old.
The UF College of Medicine hosted its inaugural AI4Health: Improving Health through Artificial Intelligence conference April 20-22 in Orlando, bringing leading AI experts at UF together with practicing clinicians from across the country for a series of in-depth discussions on how AI advancements are transforming clinical practice and improving patient health.
Over the course of three days, speakers and guests participated in more than two dozen panels and workshops, sharing insights and exchanging ideas on the latest developments in AI in health care. With more than 140 scientists, clinicians and trainees in attendance, the gathering created valuable opportunities for networking with new colleagues and building future collaborations. The conference provided continuing medical education, or CME, credit to qualifying attendees, and offered virtual and in-person viewing options to provide accessible and hybrid opportunities for engaging.
At the center of the event was a showcase of the exceptional AI expertise of UF faculty and the commitment of the UF College of Medicine to leading the advancement of AI in health and medicine.
“Although only in its first year, we believe this conference will become the nation’s premier CME gathering on the intersection of AI and medicine,” said Colleen Koch, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., dean of the UF College of Medicine. “The University of Florida is uniquely positioned to lead as the country’s foremost ‘AI University,’ and I am very proud that the College of Medicine is at the vanguard of many of these efforts and is becoming a national hub for excellence in AI education and research.”
Featured speakers included keynote speaker Shinjini Kundu, M.D., Ph.D., a radiologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Elsie Ross, M.D., MSc., a vascular surgeon and research scientist at Stanford University, who led talks related to the role of AI in human judgment and the future of care. Other panels discussed using AI to improve health outcomes, the ethics of AI in medicine and methods for applying big data and new technologies in the delivery of care.
The conference also featured several national AI experts from the National Institutes of Health Common Fund’s Bridge to Artificial Intelligence, or BRIDGE2AI, CHoRUS project (Patient-Focused Collaborative Hospital Repository Uniting Standards for Equitable AI). CHoRUS, which involves several UF researchers, created a network of university health systems that will support a comprehensive repository of data for AI research from more than 100,000 critically ill patients.
“Our first AI4Health meeting exceeded our expectations for bringing together AI in health care experts from around the country with front-line clinicians and health care decision makers. In addition, our medical and graduate students impressed me with their focused attention and insightful questions; their generation will be the first to be fully immersed in AI-enabled health care,” said Azra Bihorac, M.D., M.S., the senior associate dean for research affairs and co-director of the Intelligent Critical Care Center at the UF College of Medicine.
A highlight of the conference was the Breakfast with the Experts sessions, which allowed participants to interact with health AI data science specialists by asking questions and receiving advice about individual projects.
The UF College of Medicine also hosted the AI for Clinical Care Workshop preconference on April 19 in collaboration with the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and the Intelligent Critical Care Center and sponsored by CHoRUS. The workshop offered AI skills and professional development training for health care learners and practitioners at the beginner and advanced stages.
Matt Goldman, a UF medical student who attended both the conference and workshop, commented on the value of AI training and collaboration across disciplines for all health scientists and practitioners.
“The experience highlighted how important it is for clinicians to understand the framework of how these AI models are born,” Goldman said. “The workshop demonstrated the operative fundamentals, fallbacks and wonders of artificial intelligence. It emphasized how clinicians must speak the language of data scientists to collaborate and help patients understand their own data.”
The conference’s success has generated an enthusiasm for the academic and clinical uses of AI that organizers hope to build upon for the 2024 meeting.
“We have received incredible feedback about the content and venue from people who attended, and we are very excited to take it to another level for next year’s conference. We hope to see all our attendees and even more colleagues in Orlando in April 2024!” Bihorac said.