Research News

Launch of UCD AI Healthcare Hub Marks a Milestone in AI-Driven Healthcare Innovation

  • 22 May, 2024


The launch of UCD's AI Healthcare Hub  marks a significant milestone in the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into healthcare. Showcasing a shared vision of revolutionising healthcare with AI, the launch event on 15 May saw experts discuss the key opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

An internal UCD seed fund to support cross-disciplinary research and further enhance patient safety and outcomes was also announced.  

Prof Patricia Maguire, Director of the UCD Institute for Discovery - home to the new hub - noted the importance of leveraging available technology and knowledge to accelerate AI-driven translational research for tangible patient benefits at the event and expressed her enthusiasm for this step forward, "Bringing this multidisciplinary community of practice from across UCD together for our inaugural launch event was truly special. There was amazing energy on the night, and the feedback from the community has been overwhelmingly positive and uplifting.”

The hub is poised to make significant contributions to drive forward data-rich healthcare-associated projects from across the university and ensure better outcomes for patients worldwide. The leadership team includes Prof Maguire; Peter Doran, Director of the UCD Clinical Research centre and Professor of Clinical Trials at UCD School of Medicine; Professor Fionnuala Ní Áinle, Co-Director UCD Conway SPHERE Research Group; Professor Brian Caulfield, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science; Professor Gerardine Doyle, UCD School of Business; Brian Mac Namee, Associate Professor at UCD School of Computer Science and site Director at SFI Insight Centre UCD, and the wider interdisciplinary UCD community of practice. 

During the panel discussion the transformative potential of AI in healthcare was underscored. Speakers highlighted how AI is poised to enhance patient care and clinical trial methodologies, driving significant improvements in healthcare outcomes. 

The event acknowledged the increasing responsibilities of regulators and auditors in overseeing research and product development, ensuring ethical and safe application of AI technologies. Emphasis was placed on the importance of Data Literacy, with the mantra "good data in, good data out," underlining the necessity for everyone to be data literate to ensure the accuracy and reliability of AI-driven insights.Panelists discussed the global challenge of data bias and healthcare inequalities, stressing the need for AI to improve health literacy and equitable access to healthcare services.

AI's potential to empower both healthcare providers and patients, enhancing clinical decision-making processes was illustrated, with Ana Le Chevillier, the manager of the new hub, providing an overview of innovative research projects incubating at the hub, including AI PREMie and THORAX, a new Disruptive Technology Innovative fund project focused on sepsis.

A UCD internal seed fund aiming to support cross-disciplinary research, further enhancing patient safety and outcomes through collaborative efforts was announced at the event, details of the call be found here.