University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

UCSF Launches Artificial Intelligence Center to Advance Medical Imaging

"Intelligent Imaging" Hub will Harness Computational Tools in Medical Imaging to Improve Patient Care

By Elizabeth Fernandez | | October 11, 2019

UCSF Launches Artificial Intelligence Center to Advance Medical Imaging

Radiology Vice Chair Sharmila Majumdar, PhD, (center) who will run the Center for Intelligent Imaging's operations, discusses artificial intelligence aided images with colleagues. Assistant Professor of Clinical Radiology Javier Villanueva-Meyer, MD, (left) and computational research data scientist James Hawkins (right).

UC San Francisco is launching a new center to accelerate the application of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to radiology, leveraging advanced computational techniques and industry collaborations to improve patient diagnoses and care.

The Center for Intelligent Imaging, or ci2, will develop and apply AI to devise powerful new ways to look inside the body and to evaluate health and disease. Investigators in ci2 will team with Santa Clara, Calif.-based NVIDIA Corp., an industry leader in AI computing, to build infrastructure and tools focused on enabling the translation of AI into clinical practice. 

Christopher Hess portrait.
Christopher Hess, MD, PhD, chair of the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging.

“Artificial intelligence represents the next frontier for diagnostic medicine,” said Christopher Hess, MD, PhD, chair of the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. “It is poised to revolutionize the way in which imaging is performed, interpreted and used to direct care for patients.

“The Center for Intelligent Imaging will serve as a hub for the multidisciplinary development of AI in imaging to meet unmet clinical needs and provide a platform to measure impact and outcomes of this technology,” Hess said. “The result will be more efficient, higher-value imaging for patients within and outside of UCSF.”

UCSF has been a long-time leader in medical imaging, dating to the development of the MRI and the university’s 1975 collaboration with industry to install the first MRI systems in the United States and worldwide. The center aims to enable the same type of transformation via intelligent radiology, with the goal of again collaborating with industry to become of the first institutions to bring medical imaging AI to the bedside.   

NVIDIA engineers and data scientists will work alongside UCSF investigators to develop clinical AI tools, applying powerful computational resources that are available in few medical institutions, with the goal of accelerating the AI development cycle and integrating it seamlessly in the clinic.

“AI is one of the greatest tools of this century,” said Abdul Hamid Halabi, director of healthcare at NVIDIA. “ci2 is bringing together an innovative ecosystem of startups, vendors, UCSF’s thought leadership in radiology, and NVIDIA’s Clara platform on the world’s fastest GPUs, to create imaging AI solutions for improving patient care.”