The future of modern medicine in Linz.

The State of Upper Austria sees artificial intelligence (AI) as one of the most important technology trends of the next decade and is therefore creating the new Medical Cognitive Computing Center (MC3) – with partners JKU, KUK and RISC Software GmbH – to research and implement optimal patient care through the use of novel methods in the field of artificial intelligence.

The newly created Medical Cognitive Computing Center (MC3) now combines the knowledge of the three know-how carriers JKU, KUK and RISC Software GmbH. Prim. Prof. Jens Meier, Dean of Research at the Kepler University Hospital (KUK), is one of the few physicians with experience in basic medical research in connection with artificial intelligence for the systematic improvement of patient care and care research. “One advantage of using AI methods in medicine is the recognition of previously unnoticed correlations,” says Prim. Prof. Jens Meier. At the JKU there are already several very successful research groups in the field of artificial intelligence, in particular the Institute for Machine Learning, which is headed by Prof. Sepp Hochreiter. In a unique way, scientific expertise and experience in machine learning are combined with applications in biology, genetics and medicine.

Due to more than 15 years of activities with physicians and health service providers, the Medical Informatics Research Department of RISC Software GmbH in Hagenberg has acquired a strong position in the field of medical informatics research and an excellent reputation as a partner for research-intensive software solutions.

Within the MC3 project, a center will be created that combines medical research and AI research into a combined focus for the health care system in Upper Austria. This results in knowledge- and data-intensive methods for the further optimization of clinical patient care with the scientific focus on care research and patient safety.

Specifically, solutions for the following medical problems are being worked on:

  • Optimization of patient throughput in the intensive care unit
  • Increasing the accuracy of treatment priorities in emergency medicine
  • Improving the selection of blood reserves
  • Predicting patient deterioration in intensive care units to enable preventive intervention.

The project partners of the MC3 are specialists when it comes to the use of AI in medicine. They rely on know-how and data bases that are usually not available for other IT companies. The Kepler University Hospital has been collecting all clinical data in a well-maintained data warehouse for more than 10 years. This makes it possible to export data from all clinical areas anonymously for prediction models and to use it in accordance with legal regulations. The rights of patients are protected by the cooperation of the ethics committee and by compliance with the applicable regulations, above all the General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO) and the Medical Devices Act (MPG). As only retrospective data are analysed, there is no risk to patients. At the same time, close cooperation between physicians, bio- or medical computer scientists and AI experts ensures an understanding of the underlying issues. This guarantees that the data and prediction models are processed correctly, both medically and methodologically.

MC3 enables the preservation and expansion of highly qualified jobs. Furthermore, a high quality education is possible within a scientifically excellent and interdisciplinary environment. The development of scientific experts in this field should, on the one hand, enable the growth of the center itself and, on the other hand, increase the visibility and attractiveness for international scientists. From an economic point of view, the MC3 also contributes significantly to the compet- itiveness of the Upper Austrian region.