Intel and Penn Medicine use AI to identify brain tumors

Intel Labs and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Medicine) are co-developing technology to train artificial intelligence (AI) models that identify brain tumors using a technique called federated learning.
Intel for CIOsPenn Medicine’s work will support a federation of 29 international healthcare and research institutions led by Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine’s work is funded by the Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (ITCR) program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), through a 3-year, $1.2 million grant awarded to principal investigator Dr. Spyridon Bakas at the Center for Biomedical Image Computing and Analytics (CBICA) of the University of Pennsylvania.

“AI shows great promise for the detection of brain tumors, but it will require more data than any single medical center holds to reach its full potential. Using Intel software and hardware, we are working with the University of Pennsylvania and a federation of 29 collaborating medical centers to advance the identification of brain tumors while protecting sensitive patient data,” Jason Martin, principal engineer, Intel Labs, said.

Penn Medicine and 29 healthcare and research institutions from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and India will use federated learning, a distributed machine learning approach that enables organizations to collaborate on deep learning projects without sharing patient data.

Penn Medicine and Intel Labs demonstrated that the federated learning method could train a model to over 99 percent of the accuracy of a model trained in the traditional, non-private method.

In 2020, Penn and the 29 international healthcare and research institutions will use Intel’s federated learning hardware and software to produce a new AI model that is trained on the largest brain tumor dataset to date — all without sensitive patient data leaving the individual collaborators.

The subset of collaborating institutions expected to participate in initiating the first phase of this federation includes the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Vanderbilt University, Queen’s University, Technical University of Munich, University of Bern, King’s College London and Tata Memorial Hospital.