Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (CAIM) opens

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A scientist and a radiologist together develop an AI-based clinical tool to help

A scientist and a radiologist together develop an AI-based clinical tool to help quickly and precisely diagnose lung diseases. This close partnership between researchers and clinicians is the strength of the Bern Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (CAIM), enabling a rapid translation of research results to the patient. © University of Bern

The Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (CAIM) of the University of Bern and the Insel Gruppe with the partners sitem-insel and the Bern University Psychiatry Services UPD is officially inaugurated today. The virtual opening event offers insights into controversial topics and current research projects on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine. 500 participants will connect online.

The University of Bern and the Insel Gruppe, together with the Bern University Psychiatry Services (UPD) and the Swiss Institute for Translational and Entrepreneurial Medicine, sitem-insel as partners, have founded a Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (CAIM) as of 2021. Today, CAIM is officially inaugurated in a virtual event, which is being broadcast from the sitem-insel building. The inauguration includes a German-language opening session with panel discussion followed by an English-language scientific symposium. 500 participants from 16 countries will take part online.

"With CAIM, the University of Bern is investing in the future of medicine and creating attractive positions in teaching and research," says Christian Leumann, Rector of the University of Bern. He emphasizes that the digitalization of medicine will trigger the next development push in precision medicine. The president of the Insel Gruppe, Uwe. E. Jocham, adds that the Insel Gruppe, who wants to become a pioneer in digital medicine by 2022, is now taking a further step towards the digital hospital: "With CAIM, we are affirming our will to proactively help shape technological developments."

"A perfect combination of natural and artificial intelligence"

Christine Häsler, member of the cantonal government and director of education and culture of the canton of Bern, describes the establishment of CAIM as another strong signal of Bern as a center of medicine, which fits perfectly into the policy defined by the cantonal government as "Engagement 2030" and ensures "that our canton also takes a leading position within Switzerland in the field of artificial intelligence." Although natural intelligence and emotional-social skills will remain central in the future, she concludes, "Natural intelligence complemented and supported by artificial intelligence seems to me a perfect combination."

AI innovation with a direct impact on healthcare

CAIM is a faculty center of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Bern. Claudio Bassetti, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine: "By closing ranks between medicine, engineering sciences, research and industry, CAIM will act as a catalyst, but also as an integrator, and decisively promote the necessary interdisciplinarity and translation efforts in the fields of digitalization and AI." In recent years, the University, the Insel Gruppe and the Medical Faculty of Bern have created several professorships in digitization and AI and attracted internationally leading, highly accomplished specialists to Bern. "More will follow," Bassetti adds.

The fact that CAIM will develop digital technologies directly for and with the clinic is also emphasized by CAIM Director Raphael Sznitman: "The uniqueness of our center is that we bring together computer scientists, biomedical engineers and clinical experts in an integrated platform. We are doing this in an environment where people already have experience working together." CAIM as a virtual center is intended to further connect researchers and users for AI in medicine. Through education and training and targeted project funding CAIM will ensure that local and national expertise grows, transforming research into innovation for improved patient care. Special milestones in the fall will be the launch of a master's program in AI in Medicine and the first call for proposals for the CAIM Research Project Fund.

The opening event also includes a virtual panel discussion on "AI: Do we need to reinvent medicine?". Controversial views will be expressed on the role of AI and digital technologies as most powerful drivers in current medicine. Guido Beldi, surgeon at Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, Nikola Biller-Andorno, biomedical ethicist at the University of Zurich, Susanne Gedamke, CEO of the Swiss Patients' Organization, Bernhard Pulver, Chairman of the Board of the Insel Gruppe, and Stefan Weber, engineer, CEO of CAScination, take part in the discussion.

Insights into research

The second part of the opening event consists of a scientific symposium, with Gregory D. Hager, Director of the Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare at Johns Hopkins University, as the keynote speaker. Researchers from UPD, the University of Bern and Inselspital present current applications of AI technologies in medicine along with Bern research projects.

When sparks and grit bring AI to the patient

CAIM Director Raphael Sznitman is a leading expert at the interface between medicine, artificial intelligence (AI), and engineering. On the eve of the CAIM Opening, he talks about his motivation to research AI.

Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (CAIM)

The Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine is a research, teaching and translation platform for medical technology that uses AI to deliver better care to patients and facilitate the work of doctors and nurses. CAIM capitalizes on the unique constellation in Bern that joins players from the scientific, healthcare and industry domains. It will be inaugurated in January 2021 as a Center of the University of Bern’s medical faculty and the Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, with the University Psychiatry Services (UPD) and the Swiss Institute for Translational and Entrepreneurial Medicine, sitem-insel, as partners. Part of Bern’s initiative for digitalization in healthcare, CAIM is a virtual center connecting engineers, physicians and scientists in the area of AI in medicine and providing them with resources and access to infrastructure. By bundling transdisciplinary know-how from the Bern Biomedical Engineering Network, it promotes and expands projects dedicated to the potential of AI technology for healthcare. CAIM will foster commercialization of AI technology innovation, support start-up incubation and create sustained value through best in class research, translation and economic growth.
Further information

Content from the opening will be made available on the CAIM website post-event.

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