Federated learning: AI to speed brain tumour diagnosis

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Published: May 14, 2020 8:43:59 AM

Penn Medicine, Intel developing new AI approach to detecting brain tumours

artificial intelligence, brain tumour diagnosis, Penn Medicine, brain tumour detection, healthcareAccording to the American Brain Tumour Association (ABTA), nearly 80,000 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumour this year, with more than 4,600 being children.

Intel Labs and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Medicine) are co-developing a technology to enable a federation of 29 international healthcare and research institutions led by Penn Medicine to train artificial intelligence (AI) models that identify brain tumours using a privacy-preserving technique called federated learning.

How it works: 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, which is a distributed machine learning approach that enables organisations to collaborate on deep learning projects without sharing patient data. Penn Medicine and Intel Labs were the first to publish a paper on federated learning in the medical imaging domain, particularly demonstrating that the federated learning method could train a model to over 99% of the accuracy of a model trained in the traditional, non-private method. The new work will leverage Intel software and hardware to implement federated learning such that it offers privacy protection to both the model and the data.

Why it matters: According to the American Brain Tumour Association (ABTA), nearly 80,000 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumour this year, with more than 4,600 being children. In order to train and build a model to detect a brain tumour that could aid in early detection and better outcomes, researchers need access to large amounts of relevant medical data. However, it is essential that the data remain private and protected, which is where federated learning with Intel technology comes in.

What’s next: In 2020, Penn and the 29 international healthcare and research institutions will use Intel’s federated learning hardware and software to produce a new state-of-the-art 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.

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