Northwell, Feinstein Institutes to form new AI research center on health outcomes

Northwell Health and its research arm, the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, plan to create a new AI-focused research center. 

The center is made possible by a $10 million donation from Scott Rechler, CEO of real estate company RXR and co-chair of the Feinstein Institutes' board of directors, and his wife Debby. The Scott and Debby Rechler Center for Health Outcomes will support the development of large-scale data models and AI to identify and address healthcare disparities and patient risk.

The donation will also establish an endowed professor position and support the recruitment of a leading data scientist for the center as well as health economists and scientists to study and analyze data to improve patient outcomes. The health system’s goal is to translate research findings into improved clinical care for millions of patients.

“Medical research must be focused on creating a solution to a problem,” Michael Dowling, Northwell’s CEO, said in a press release. “Scott and Debby’s leadership support will allow us to address health disparities, overall and in specific communities, in a way that is not being done today and could save millions of lives each year.”

With the new center, Northwell has the potential to create a new medical model for the nation, Scott Rechler said in the announcement.

“For too long, our country’s healthcare system has been focused on reacting to illness rather than taking steps to proactively prevent illness,” he said. “Through the use of data, we can better identify issues early on and proactively drive healthcare outcomes before they become larger problems.”

Northwell recently launched a program that sends a brief quality-of-life questionnaire to millions of its patients regularly in their preferred language. Those consensual data, plus the support of AI, will fuel this planned research undertaking.

“With the amount of additional data we will capture, researchers and clinicians can work together to develop new ways of providing care to patients in need,” said Kevin Tracey, M.D., CEO and president of the Feinstein Institutes. “The data will provide a wealth of knowledge that could impact many areas of science and medicine.” 

The announcement stressed that AI will not replace the expertise of Northwell professionals but will serve as a tool to inform research, trends and optimal treatment.