Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Intel AI and machine learning detect brain tumours

Steve Rogerson
May 19, 2020



Intel is working with the University of Pennsylvania on using privacy-preserving AI and machine learning to identify brain tumours.
 
Intel Labs and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn Medicine) are developing technology so a federation of 29 international healthcare and research institutions can train artificial intelligence (AI) models that identify brain tumours using a privacy-preserving technique called federated learning.
 
“AI shows great promise for the early detection of brain tumours, but it will require more data than any single medical centre holds to reach its full potential,” said Jason Martin, principal engineer at Intel Labs. “Using Intel software and hardware and support from some of Intel Labs’ brightest minds, we are working with the University of Pennsylvania and a federation of 29 collaborating medical centres to advance the identification of brain tumours while protecting sensitive patient data.”
 
Penn Medicine and the healthcare and research institutions from the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland and India will use federated learning, which is a distributed machine-learning approach that enables organisations to collaborate on deep learning projects without sharing patient data.
 
Penn Medicine and Intel Labs were the first to publish a paper on federated learning in the medical imaging domain, particularly demonstrating that the federated learning method could train a model to over 99% of the accuracy of a model trained in the traditional, non-private method.
 
This paper was originally presented at the International Conference on Medical Image Computing & Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) 2018 in Granada, Spain. The new work will leverage Intel software and hardware to implement federated learning in a manner that provides additional privacy protection to both the model and the data.
 
Penn Medicine’s work is funded by the Informatics Technology for Cancer Research (ITCR) programme of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), through a three-year, $1.2m grant awarded to principal investigator Spyridon Bakas at the Center for Biomedical Image Computing & Analytics (CBICA) of the University of Pennsylvania.
 
“It is widely accepted by our scientific community that machine-learning training requires ample and diverse data that no single institution can hold,” Bakas said. “We are coordinating a federation of 29 collaborating international healthcare and research institutions, which will be able to train state-of-the-art AI models for healthcare, using privacy-preserving machine-learning technologies, including federated learning. This year, the federation will begin developing algorithms that identify brain tumours from a greatly expanded version of the international brain tumour segmentation challenge dataset. This federation will allow medical researchers access to vastly greater amounts of healthcare data while protecting the security of those data.”
 
According to the American Brain Tumor Association, nearly 80,000 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumour this year, with more than 4600 of them being children. To train and build a model to detect a brain tumour that could aid in early detection and better outcomes, researchers need access to large amounts of relevant medical data. However, it is essential that the data remain private and protected, which is where federated learning with Intel technology comes in.
 
By using this approach, researchers from all partner organisations will be able to work together on building and training an algorithm to detect a brain tumour while protecting sensitive medical data.
 
In 2020, Penn and the 29 international healthcare and research institutions will use Intel’s federated learning hardware and software to produce an AI model that is trained on the largest brain tumour dataset to date, all without sensitive patient data leaving the individual collaborators.
 
The subset of collaborating institutions expected to participate in initiating the first phase of this federation includes the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St Louis, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Vanderbilt University, Queen’s University, Technical University of Munich, University of Bern, King’s College London and Tata Memorial Hospital.