Dr Javaid I Sheikh, Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q), recently hosted the inaugural Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series event, which focused on artificial intelligence (AI) and healthcare. Dr Rainu Kaushal, a distinguished US-based data scientist and health services researcher, led the session.

Dr Kaushal’s lecture focused on how AI is dominating the healthcare IT landscape, how it is created and being implemented across various areas of healthcare, including imaging, and how health systems can meaningfully capture the vast quantities of clinical data that is required for research.

Other key topics included the importance of ensuring guidance and regulations that govern the ethical use of AI in healthcare and the significance of investments driving the generation, implementation, and meaningful use of novel AI technologies.

Dr Kaushal is the senior associate dean of clinical research, chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences, and the Nanette Laitman Distinguished Professor of Population Health Sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM). She is also the physician-in-chief of population health sciences at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. As the principal investigator of INSIGHT Clinical Research Network (CRN), Dr. Kaushal has built the US’s largest urban clinical database of 22 million patients with trillions of medical, biological, and social data points integrated for national research use.

During his introductory note, Dr Javaid Sheikh, Dean of WCM-Q, said: ‘It is truly a momentous time in healthcare when multiple scientific streams—computational biology, data science, artificial intelligence, and population health sciences—are converging. The landscape of healthcare is being transformed to  enhance healthspans, to spawn an era of precision health, to get people involved in taking care of their own health, and to add life to years and years to life.’

The lecture was attended by a diverse audience of health professionals from across Qatar and overseas, including Qatar Foundation, Hamad Medical Corporation, Sidra Medicine, WCM, WCM-Q, and the director of the Public Health Department at the Ministry of Public Health, Sheikh Dr Mohamed bin Hamad al-Thani.

Dr Kaushal added, ‘In the realm of healthcare, AI acts as a co-pilot, enriching human decision-making processes by streamlining data interpretation and handling routine tasks. AI also extends our cognitive reach beyond human limitations, processing information swiftly and comprehensively. For instance, AI-driven analysis of specific imaging modalities unveils novel insights into functional assessments, underscoring the profound potential of AI to positively transform healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.’

During the session, Dr Kaushal also highlighted exemplary collaborations across Cornell University colleges, WCM-Q, and hospital partner New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. She showcased pioneering initiatives in women’s health, brain health, heart health, cancer research, and population health, exemplifying AI’s transformative impact on healthcare delivery and outcomes.

Looking to the future, Dr Kaushal envisions a shift towards precision medicine and health that leverages AI-enabled research and innovation to optimise individual patient care and advance population health outcomes. She articulates a dynamic cycle of continuous learning and adaptation within the healthcare system, driven by real-time data insights and evidence-based interventions.

The WCM-Q Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series, which is expected to take place three times a year, will invite world-leading experts from data science, population health sciences, lifestyle medicine, and healthcare technology to showcase the cutting edge of innovation in health and highlight how new concepts can improve lives worldwide.

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