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Self-paced program allows clinicians to learn about AI

Self-paced program allows clinicians to learn about AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to make a significant impact throughout healthcare systems and clinicians at Carle Health have an opportunity to participate in an online, self-paced introduction narrated by Kevin R. Teal, MD, a neurosurgeon at Carle Foundation Hospital.

“It helps novices like me understand the complexity of AI,” Teal said. ”While AI cannot solve all, it can help us understand how AI uses data sets to help a clinician steer toward a diagnosis.”

The program is an interdisciplinary partnership with the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and University of Illinois Department of Bioengineering at The Grainger College of Engineering. Designed to equip healthcare professionals with a conceptual understanding of AI and its applications, the program uses real-world medical case studies using machine learning models.

Current applications of AI in healthcare include disease diagnostics, health monitoring, enhancing electronic healthcare records and clinical decision support. This course is intended for physicians, physician assistants, medical students, nurse practitioners, veterinarians and veterinary technicians. According to Mark A. Anastasio, PhD, Carle Illinois College of Medicine professor, and Donald Biggar Willett, PhD, professor in engineering and head of the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois, the program exists to meet an urgent need for AI training in the healthcare community.

Dr. Teal said clinicians will receive a realistic view of AI, the need to collaborate with data scientists, potential biases and cautions.

There are six modules:
  • Module 1 – Establish key concepts of artificial intelligence and machine learning and recognize their differences.
  • Module 2 – Deep dive into subfields of machine learning and statistical learning grounded in clinical examples.
  • Module 3 – Understand how to train artificial neural networks to learn from data through deep learning.
  • Module 4 – Consider the value of medical data and the role of clinicians in the development and training of machine learning tools.
  • Module 5 – Examine ethical, regulatory and legal topics while using machine learning models in clinical settings.
  • Module 6 – Explore real-world applications of AI in medicine for diagnosing diseases, interpreting tests and processing electronic healthcare records.
By the end of the training, participants will be able to read literature related to artificial intelligence in medicine, understand how data-driven decisions are made and assessed, identify and define different types of artificial intelligence tools and techniques used in medicine and actively participate in the selection and purchase of AI-based medical software. This program empowers healthcare providers to more effectively partner with computer science professionals and interact with vendors.

“The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a global hub where technological innovations meet medical advancements,” Anastasio said. One such example is the formation of The Carle Illinois College of Medicine in 2018, the first engineering-based medical school in the world which seeks to educate the next generation of physician innovators to bridge technology with healthcare delivery.

Illinois is a leader in the field of artificial intelligence. Within the Department of Bioengineering, faculty are leveraging AI to assemble digital biopsies, diagnose diseases and synthesize novel materials. Significant federal and private investments have also been made to further accelerate AI-related breakthroughs at Illinois including a 10-year $200 million investment from IBM to launch the Discovery Accelerator Institute.

As part of this certificate, students will have exclusive access to connect with artificial intelligence experts at the university through weekly virtual office hours. “Our goal is to prepare students in this program to lead the future of medicine,” Anastasio said.

To learn more, go to: AI in Medicine Certificate | Bioengineering | UIUC (

Categories: Redefining Healthcare, Community

Tags: Carle, Champaign-Urbana, College, Illinois, Medicine, of