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Artificial Intelligence

New Danish center for AI and health

Today, Denmark opens its first research center for clinical artificial intelligence. Odense University Hospital and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Southern Denmark are launching CAI-X, where doctors, engineers, and companies will join forces to develop smart AI solutions designed for the healthcare system.

By Jane Thoning Callesen, , 1/11/2021

Imagine a gentle robot that scans the hands of arthritis patients and analyzes the disease activity in the joints. Or, an intelligent camera pill that is swallowed by the patient and photographs its way through the intestine and checks for polyps.

Both projects are examples of how artificial intelligence can improve healthcare. In the future, projects such as these will be carried out under the auspices of a new Danish research center, CAI-X, which is launched today with experts from Odense University Hospital (OUH) and the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).

– The demand for health services is increasing, while there is a shortage of qualified staff. AI solutions will help us examine more patients faster while ensuring the highest possible quality of treatment, states Bjarne Dahler-Eriksen, medical director at OUH.

Focus on specific needs

About 20 research projects are ready to be carried out in the new center, which will function as a single entrance for everyone at OUH and SDU with an interest in developing AI solutions for the healthcare system. The ambition is that the center becomes one of the world's leading in clinical artificial intelligence.

– We want to be at the forefront of AI in the Danish healthcare system, and to be among the best in the world. CAI-X will help ensure that, says Bjarne Dahler-Eriksen.

The center will have a daily manager at OUH, and two research leaders based at SDU. The projects will be chosen based on the needs and challenges that healthcare professionals face daily.

As engineers, we must step into the healthcare staff's world, understand their challenges and way of working

Henrik Bindslev, Dean

– CAI-X is an application-oriented research center that focuses on the solutions that the healthcare system needs, explains Henrik Bindslev, Dean at the Faculty of Engineering at SDU.

– As engineers, we must step into the healthcare staff's world, understand their challenges and way of working, and then develop solutions in collaboration with the staff at OUH and the external companies that may be interested in participating.

AI gives patients security

The new center is applauded by Niels Jørgen Langkilde, chairman of the Danish Patient Association.

– CAI-X has our full support. It is a very important interdisciplinary center, which will help ensure patients the best possible treatment in a time when resources are limited. It gives patients peace of mind knowing that AI and other new technologies are being used.

– We believe that the use of artificial intelligence can help ensure uniformity in treatment, for instance when it comes to test results, he says.

Virtual inauguration

The research center will cover all clinical areas at OUH, and it will collaborate with municipalities, companies, and other research centers and hospitals.

It will be inaugurated in a virtual launch January 11th with 120 participants from Denmark and abroad.

Photo: The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute.

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Editing was completed: 11.01.2021