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UCD AI Healthcare Hub invites researchers to join community of practice

Thursday, 28 March, 2024

The UCD AI Healthcare Hub is inviting researchers from across the university with an interest in AI to join its new community of practice. 

“Every day, across UCD, colleagues are increasingly engaged in transformative and highly multidisciplinary, data-rich, healthcare-focused research projects,” says Professor Patricia Maguire, director of the UCD Institute for Discovery. 

“These projects range from large-scale, trans-institutional endeavours to small-scale pilot research aimed at generating key preliminary data for future funding. The UCD AI Healthcare Hub, a new initiative managed by the UCD Institute for Discovery, aims to bring together this growing interdisciplinary community to share current initiatives, plans, and gain state-of-the-art insights through networking events and seminars,” she says.  

“Additionally, there will be opportunities to secure seed funding to accelerate ideas that leverage AI to address pressing healthcare challenges. We also aim to enable a robust and secure data infrastructure for use by UCD researchers - including hardware, software, cloud storage, etc -  supporting and accelerating research into AI in healthcare across UCD.

We would be delighted to welcome researchers from across the University with an interest in AI and Healthcare to join our community of practice.”

Professor of physiotherapy, Brian Caulfield, founding director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, says AI has enormous potential to transform how we manage health and human performance throughout the lifespan. 

“In my own field, it has the potential to unlock the real value from the digital footprint that humans create as they move through life, especially now that we have access to such large volumes of data from wearable sensors. However, the real value of AI for Health will not be realised unless we have deep collaboration between all of the different stakeholders that are involved in co-production of health,” he says. “This includes experts in data science and engineering, health, clinical and sport science, social science and patients/athletes as appropriate. This is where the AI for Healthcare initiative in UCD comes in - there is a very wide body of expertise and infrastructural capability available in UCD to tackle the challenge of extracting value for health and human performance using AI. This AI for Healthcare platform will bring these experts together for best effect.”

Professor Fionnuala Ni Ní Áinle, consultant haematologist at the Mater Misericordiae university hospital and Rotunda hospital in Dublin, says once handled in accordance with all relevant legislation, AI can transform patient safety through many mechanisms, including a reduction in human error and improving the accuracy of care provided.
“An AI and healthcare community would create a growth of relationships between experts from very different disciplines and with different skillsets but with a common goal: improving the quality of patient care and patient safety. By including the patient voice and that of the clinician, such a community would have tremendous power for good,” she adds. 

Dr Brian Mac Namee, Associate Professor in the UCD School of Computer Science says recent developments in AI are having a “massive effect” on lots of industries, “...but nowhere are there more opportunities, but bigger challenges, than in health. Meeting these challenges, and grasping these opportunities needs a multi-disciplinary approach and this is exactly what the AI Healthcare Hub provides.”

Professor Gerardine Doyle of the UCD College of Business sees the potential for AI to act as a positive enabler and have the biggest impact on health and wellbeing. “AI may be applied to model and understand some of our largest global health challenges such as complex chronic conditions and multimorbidity."

"AI may enable us to significantly improve how we record and track clinical and patient reported outcomes over time particularly amongst vulnerable groups in society, to better measure and seek to continually improve the value that can be delivered by our health care systems. AI may also enable us to unlock the multiple and complex factors giving rise to socioeconomic based health disparities and disparities experienced by minority groups in society,” she adds.

“The UCD AI Healthcare Hub is an exciting forum to bring UCD’s many stellar interdisciplinary researchers together around the single goal of ‘AI for improving the health and well-being of everyone in society”.

If you would be interested in joining this AI in healthcare network, please send your expression of interest together with a headshot and a short bio to Tara Byrne at discovery@ucd.ie 

UCD Institute for Discovery

O'Brien Centre for Science, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland.
E: discovery@ucd.ie | Location Map(opens in a new window)