The Medical Datathon, hosted by the Queensland Government’s recently established Queensland AI Hub, marks the first major (virtual) event for the organisation with the aim of improving health outcomes and advancing healthcare through data and artificial intelligence (AI).

With data becoming a key to improving treatment and healthcare, the Datathon also aimed to raise the capabilities and collaboration of healthcare workers, data scientists and researchers by presenting a team approach to analyse large data, such as medical records, national registries and body scans.

Sponsored by Google Cloud and AWS, the Datathon attracted over 200 people, split between 16 multi-disciplinary teams to develop an innovative concept by using data to improve treatment for patients with COVID-19 presenting at ICU units worldwide.

Two winners emerged from the Datathon. Clearer Consent is an idea that aims to design Digital Consent products adaptable to cultural considerations and languages. Vision AI, the other winner, aims to utilise Deep Learning and AI to build fully integrated systems that can rapidly analyse common imaging modalities, such as chest x-rays, for pathologies that require urgent intervention.

Both winning teams will each receive a package of platform credits from Google Cloud and AWS in order to continue the development of their project.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said AI hub put out a call for people to get involved in their inaugural medical datathon in early June.

Jones said organisers received a huge response from doctors and nurses keen to work with data scientists and data analysts to see how data can play a key role in combatting diseases.

“One of the biggest challenges facing our health system is how to use our data to more efficiently diagnose and treat patients,” she said.

“By bringing together some of our best and brightest experts in data and artificial intelligence, we could solve that problem.”

Kelvin Ross, Director at Queensland AI Hub and founder of KJR said the Datathon is aimed to educate participants about the potential insights and uses of real-world data in improving healthcare.

“The plan is to build connections, networks, skills and opportunities to advance healthcare using data and AI,” Ross said.

“Until a vaccine is developed for coronavirus, we need new ways to make smarter and faster decisions. AI can play a critical role here – assessing huge volumes of real-time data to assist front-line health workers to make the best possible decisions on critical care.”

“AI won’t take away the role of front-line workers. Instead it will augment what they do, providing them with evidence-based support. We see AI as Augmented Intelligence,” he said.

The Queensland AI Hub provides a space to grow Queensland’s artificial intelligence community, connecting business with AI based startups and researchers as catalysts for AI adoption throughout Queensland and globally.

The hub is currently funded by Advance Queensland and managed by a consortium of business technology specialists that deliver innovative AI programs in Queensland, including KJR, Max Kelsen, IntelliHQ, 9 Points and AiKademi.

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