Message from the Chair

Artificial intelligence (AI) is causing a fundamental transformation that will directly touch every human being in the world. The paradigm-shifting impact of AI will eclipse the changes brought by the industrial revolution, personal computing, and the internet combined. Health care and wellbeing are at the forefront of this transformation. While we must continue to vigorously oppose dystopian misuse of artificial intelligence for surveillance and propaganda, it is clear that within the health care arena, patients are dying not because of AI but because we are not using it.

The Mount Sinai Health System is aware of this transformation. We have invested accordingly. Now, with the initiation of the Department of Artificial Intelligence and Human Health and the Hasso Plattner Institute for Digital Health at Mount Sinai, we are working towards assuming leadership in this rapidly developing space.

We realize that to effectively improve human health through machine learning, we must create and implement platforms to analyze and compute greater amounts of data than ever before. For example, machine learning will enable computers to read the results of advanced imaging more quickly and accurately than the human eye. Drawing conclusions based on millions of data points, AI will become an essential guide to ever more accurate models of disease and treatment. This, in turn, will lead to rapid improvements in health care.

Our vision is to build a framework to underpin all efforts throughout the Mount Sinai Health System. This “intelligent fabric” will weave together AI services that support nurses and physicians, scientists and administrators. At the local level, it will provide productivity and decision support tools for diagnosis, treatment, and workflow optimization. These tools will not operate in silos, but will connect and interweave to accompany patients throughout their care. At the hospital level, the intelligent fabric will make AI tools and techniques available to all disciplines and divisions.  This will break the deadlock of local, tactical analysis in reaction to emergencies and allow long-term strategic decision-making for the care of individual patients as well as for the entire health care system. If there was any doubt about the importance of this approach, the COVID-19 pandemic has drastically demonstrated the need for system-wide tracking, strategic planning, and implementation.

For patients, the intelligent fabric will extend beyond the walls of the hospital. AI companions will support patients in healthy living and disease prevention. Intelligent tools will chaperone patients to the right care at the right time, and then help them during rehabilitation. The fabric will envelope patients with personalized services. It will provide not only the reassuring feeling of Mount Sinai’s continuous care but, more importantly, the confidence that comes with knowing that they will get the right treatment when they need it.

Looking at the larger picture, we believe that within the national and international competition of health care providers, the health system that is infused with artificial intelligence and capable of realizing the gains of AI by itself will carry the day.

Thomas J. Fuchs,
Dean for Artificial Intelligence and Human Health