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February 15, 2024

Hartford HealthCare launches Center for AI Innovation in Healthcare

HBJ FILE PHOTO Jeffrey Flaks is the CEO of Hartford HealthCare.

Hartford HealthCare announced Thursday it has launched an artificial intelligence-driven effort to improve patient care.

Called the Center for AI Innovation in Healthcare, the health system said the center is the first of its kind in New England and one of just a few nationwide. The intent is to harness “the transformative power” of AI to enhance patient care, the health system said.

The center is the culmination of collaborations with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and formalizes Hartford HealthCare’s dedication to AI advancements, it said.

“In collaboration with Professor Dimitris Bertsimas, associate dean of analytics at MIT-Sloan, Hartford HealthCare Innovation developed a startup company, Holistic Hospital Optimization (H2O), which uses AI to help healthcare providers optimize the flow of patients and other hospital operations,” Hartford HealthCare said. “H2O helps patients return home more quickly and safely, optimizes staff time spent with patients, and frees up space and services during times of peak demand.”

The center, it added, has four core areas of focus: research and development; education and training; collaboration and partnerships; and ethical and regulatory guidelines. The center also has established several research initiatives, including:

  • Predicting COVID-19-related events.
  • Predicting hospital length of stay.
  • Predicting patient deterioration.
  • Predicting transcatheter aortic valve surgery outcomes.
  • Predicting secondary stroke events.
  • Predicting joint replacement surgery outcomes.
  • Optimizing nurse scheduling.
  • Optimizing operating room efficiency.

Hartford HealthCare said many of those initiatives have already been “translated into clinical and operational practice.”

Jeffrey Flaks, president and CEO of Hartford HealthCare, told Becker's Health IT that the use of the H20 software has already produced tangible results.

"This is why I'm extraordinarily enthusiastic about how impactful artificial intelligence is already demonstrating, but will become over time in healthcare," he said. "The technology is ubiquitous. It goes across every aspect of healthcare, from clinical domains to operational administrative domains, and it can make us so much better. The opportunities are endless, and it will be enormously impactful."

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