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DOD’s cutting-edge research in AI and ML to improve patient care

The Defense Department’s responsibility to its active and veteran service members extends to their health and well-being. One organization driving innovation for patient care is the DOD’s Uniformed Services University. And within the university is a center known as the Surgical Critical Care Initiative, SC2i — a consortium of federal and non-federal research institutions.

In a recent panel discussion with DefenseScoop, Dr. Seth Schobel, scientific director for SC2i, shared how cutting-edge research in artificial intelligence and machine learning improves patient care. Schobel elaborated on one specific tool called the WounDx Clinical Decision Support Tool which predicts the best time for surgeons to close extremity wounds.

“[These wounds] are actually one of the most common combat casualty injuries experienced by our warfighters. We believe the use of these tools will allow military physicians to close most wounds faster, and it has the potential to save costs and avoid wound infections and other complications. We believe by using this tool we’ll increase the success rate of military surgeons on closing these wounds at first attempt [improving rates] from 72% to 88% of the time,” he explained.

Uniformed Services University’s Chief Technology and Senior Information Security Officer, Sean Baker, joined Schobel on the panel to elaborate on how when IT and medical research teams work together, they can drive better health outcomes in patient care.

“Overall, our job is to provide cutting-edge tools into the hands of clinical experts, recognizing that risk management does not mean risk avoidance. Clinical care is not going to advance without taking some measure of digital risks,” he explained.

Baker added, “We need to continue to empower our users across the healthcare space, across government, to use these emerging capabilities in a risk-informed way to take this into the next level of education, of research, of care delivery.”

Schobel and Baker both underlined AI and ML’s disruptive potential to positively improve patient care in the near future.

“We need to be ready for this [disruptor] by understanding how these tools are built and how they apply in different clinical settings. This will dramatically improve a data-driven and evidence-based healthcare system,” Schobel explained. “By embracing these considerations, the public health sector, as well as the military, can harness the power of AI and ML to enhance patient care and improve health outcomes, and really be at the forefront of that transformation for the future of healthcare.”

Google’s Francisco Rubio-Bertrand, who manages federal healthcare client business, reacted to the panel interview, saying: “We believe that Google, by leveraging its vast resources and expertise, can be a driving force in advancing research and healthcare. Through access to our powerful cloud computing platforms and extensive datasets, we can significantly accelerate the development of AI/ML models specifically designed to address pressing needs in the healthcare sector.”

Watch the full discussion to learn more about driving better patient care and health outcomes with artificial intelligence and machine learning.

This video panel discussion was produced by Scoop News Group for DefenseScoop, and underwritten by Google for Government.