What You Should Know:
– Today, at RSNA, Flywheel, a leading data management platform for biomedical research and collaboration announces the creation of a federated data platform for the development of unbiased breast imaging AI.
– Funded in part by the NIH, the federated network will support breast imaging AI research and collaboration—on a scale not previously possible.
Leveraging Flywheel Discovery & Exchange
Two Flywheel technologies underpin the project. Flywheel Discovery, a cohort discovery tool, will connect with the imaging archives, mammography information systems, and EHRs of participating healthcare providers to identify relevant breast imaging data and curate it to common standards. Summaries of the datasets will then be published on Flywheel Exchange, a next-generation platform for research data sharing, where they can be browsed by researchers and licensed for secure use.
Flywheel Exchange keeps patient data in place, simplifying compliance with HIPAA and IRB requirements for researchers. Testing and improving AI through federated analysis and federated learning is accomplished through moving the algorithm(s), rather than the data, across institutional lines. Healthcare providers retain full possession of patient data, while the algorithm being trained “visits” the data where it resides and carries weighted scores back to researchers. As healthcare providers embrace this approach, federated learning has the potential to dramatically improve the amount and diversity of data available to the research community.
Unbiased Breast Imaging AI Benefits
This is crucial because more diverse data is sorely needed by AI developers. Given the shortage of breast imagers in many communities, providers need the most accurate AI tools possible to assist radiologists in increasing efficiency and quality of care. Flywheel is uniting academic medical centers, community health systems, and essential hospitals on its network, further building the catalog of data that AI developers, life sciences companies, and other researchers can license to power their research.
“We are creating the complete data science stack to address the all-too-common challenges of healthcare researchers and AI developers,” said Jim Olson, CEO of Flywheel. “This solution combines both federation capabilities and the data science infrastructure to capture data and ensure consistent curation. Without that, researchers spend 80% of their time on menial data-wrangling tasks. We’re creating the tools for data owners and data consumers to find each other and collaborate with unprecedented efficiency so they can make breakthroughs in care.”