Data, AI and best expertise to combat brain disease
To push deeper into this field at HUS, a development project AI Head Analysis under the umbrella of the CleverHealth Network ecosystem was launched in 2017. The goal of the development project is to improve the treatment of brain diseases by developing diagnostic support tools to help out doctors – and do it together with the corporate world.
“We want to develop clinically significant image analytics based on artificial intelligence,” Korja outlines the game plan.
HUS relies on ecosystem excellence in this undertaking: since the hospital is not a player in medical devices manufacture, it needs corporate partners to realise its innovations. According to Korja, the core idea of CleverHealth Network ecosystem is that HUS’s doctors and nurses bring their clinical excellence to the table, while Finnish and international technology companies bring various software and hardware expertise, as well as marketing and business expertise.
“Also, if you don’t cooperate with companies, you’re at the mercy of the business world – they sell you what they want to sell. If you join the ecosystem and participate early on in the R&D process, you can steer the process for the benefit of the eventual patient,” Korja says, calling the ecosystem approach at HUS “an absolute diamond”.
The potential of AI is so massive, it’s going to totally turn healthcare upside down.
AI algorithm finds quiet killers in the brain
One of the key discoveries in the project was the creation of an algorithm that can spot a dangerous intracerebral hemorrhage from images.
“The next step is to make an algorithm package that can identify all forms of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhages,” says Korja.
To do this, you obviously need a cutting-edge medical device – but the road to the end-product is a long one, Korja admits.
“Regulations are tight and the required steps are many, but we’re on our way.”
AI having massive potential in healthcare
Currently, Korja splits his time working at the Department of Neurosurgery at HUS as a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon (see photo) and HUS Chief Innovation Officer. Perhaps surprisingly, he doesn’t write code at all – as one would expect from an AI enthusiast.