GE Healthcare partners with Vanderbilt on AI-based immunotherapy guidance and diagnostics

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The two also plan to develop new positron emission tomography tracers to help physicians stratify cancer patients for clinical trials. (Getty/josefkubes)

GE Healthcare is teaming up with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to develop more precise cancer immunotherapy diagnostics that use artificial intelligence to predict both efficacy and potential side effects.

The five-year partnership will aim to produce multiple diagnostic tools, using anonymized demographic, genomic, tumor, cellular, proteomic and imaging data from thousands of VUMC cancer patients.

“This partnership is a great example of the increasing convergence of the tools, technologies and data used by therapy innovators and healthcare providers,” said GE Healthcare’s president and CEO, Kieran Murphy.

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The two aim to make the first analytics application prototype available by the end of 2019.

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“Immunotherapy offers tremendous promise but given the current unpredictability of some patients’ reactions to treatments, it is also associated with increased morbidity and cost,” added Jeff Balser, president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

In addition, GE Healthcare and the university plan to develop new positron emission tomography (PET) tracers to help physicians stratify cancer patients for clinical trials and avoid the recruitment of inappropriate study participants.

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The two also hope the PET tracers will ultimately be used to monitor the efficacy of immunotherapies in everyday practice, with proof-of-concept being established by the end of 2020.

Meanwhile, GE Healthcare will also collaborate with the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and its stem cell transplant facility to improve productivity, efficiency and cost of cell processing operations through automation, digitizing workflows and industrializing operations.

In late 2018, GE Healthcare signed on to build an AI-powered command center for the Bradford Royal Infirmary, an National Health Service teaching hospital in the U.K., which aims to use real-time information and analytics to direct patient care delivery and allocate resources. Its goal is to increase the number of patients who are admitted, transferred and discharged within four hours from its emergency department, which sees 350 to 400 patients per day.