HIMSS24: Microsoft, 16 health systems to operationalize AI under new partner network

Sixteen health systems, Microsoft and other healthcare technology organizations are the latest to band together and hammer out best practices and standards for AI in care.

Calling itself the Trustworthy & Responsible AI Network (TRAIN), the latest provider-tech AI collaboration aims to improve the quality and trustworthiness of novel AI capabilities coming to healthcare.

Technologies such as those to help screen patients or automate administrative tasks can improve care and cut costs but need “rigorous development and evaluation standards” to ensure they are applied responsibly, the group said in a joint announcement.

“By working together, TRAIN members aim to establish best practices for operationalizing responsible AI, helping improve patient outcomes and safety while fostering trust in healthcare AI,” David Rhew, M.D., global chief medical officer and vice president of healthcare, said in a statement.

TRAIN includes major health systems including Mercy, Mass General Brigham, Providence, Cleveland Clinic and AdventHealth. The collaboration is also tapping OCHIN, a nonprofit tech provider and consultant for community health organizations, and revenue cycle management software company TruBridge as partners “to help ensure that every organization, regardless of resources, has access to TRAIN’s benefits,” according to the announcement.

Of note, many of TRAIN’s founding members are also participants in a prior healthcare AI stakeholder group, the Coalition for Health AI (CHAI). TRAIN will build upon that group’s work by operationalizing its principles for trustworthy healthcare AI, partners said in the announcement.

“We look forward to leveraging the Coalition for Health AI’s (CHAI) best practice guidelines and guardrails to build practical tools that make responsible AI a reality among healthcare delivery organizations in service to all our patients,” Michael Pencina, chief data scientist for TRAIN member Duke Health and a co-founder and board member of CHAI, said in a statement.

Specifically, TRAIN said its members will share healthcare AI best practices surrounding algorithm safety, reliability and monitoring. It will also work toward registration of clinical AI through “a secure online portal,” help develop a federated national AI outcomes registry and provide tools to help organizations measure AI outcomes at a subpopulation level.

The partners said data and AI algorithms would not be shared between the member organizations or third parties.

“The thoughtful implementation of AI has the potential to transform healthcare, allowing us to reach more patients and provide safer care with a higher-quality experience,” Rohit Chandra, Ph.D., chief digital officer at Cleveland Clinic, said in a statement. “However, we must be careful about how we bring AI into clinical practice. It’s important that health systems come together in organizations like TRAIN to share best practices and align on responsible and safe uses of AI.”

The list of participating health systems announced Monday is as follows: AdventHealth, Advocate Health, Boston Children’s Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Duke Health, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Mass General Brigham, MedStar Health, Mercy, Mount Sinai Health System, Northwestern Medicine, Providence, Sharp HealthCare, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

TRAIN joins a growing number of industry-led efforts to get ahead of the potential pitfalls of AI in healthcare. For instance, VALID AI, which was launched last fall, came out of the gate with over 30 founding partners, listed similar goals of developing common standards and aggregating research on AI implementation. Its membership includes health systems, health plans and professional groups like the American Cancer Society.