IC² Institute, Dell Medical School Seeking Research Proposals to Advance the Use of AI in Health Care


The IC² Institute, in collaboration with Dell Medical School, announces a research funding opportunity aimed at UT Austin faculty and researchers on the theme of “Designing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Mitigate Health Disparities.”

Through this 2024 call for proposals, the IC² Institute and Dell Med are offering one-year awards up to $75,000 for selected projects with a single principal investigator (PI) or up to $150,000 for collaborative projects including two or more PIs. Collaborative, multi-PI projects must include a Dell Med researcher. The deadline for concept paper submission is May 24, 2024.

Multi-disciplinary research in AI offers the potential to generate technologies producing impactful solutions to diverse and pressing problems. IC² has partnered with Dell Med to grow UT’s expertise and impact in the rapidly evolving area of Health AI — a domain that involves the development and deployment of intelligent systems capable of processing vast amounts of health data, offering diagnostic support, identifying patterns in individual or population health and assisting healthcare professionals in decision-making.

Since adopting its current mission of “innovating well-being” in 2022, the IC² Institute has been actively engaging in research and stakeholder engagement efforts that seek to improve the delivery of health care.  Executive Director S. Craig Watkins explains that engaging UT research experts on this issue holds great promise: “UT has such a strong commitment to cutting-edge research and clinical innovation. By teaming up with Dell Med to stimulate new research from our talented faculty, we can really push our knowledge about the equitable and effective use of AI in health care.” Dell Med Dean Claudia Lucchinetti, M.D., commented further:

“Innovation in technology and AI holds the potential to transform treatment and the delivery of health care.  However, ensuring that their development and application are designed with active input from stakeholders and protecting against bias are key to realizing that potential. By using a collaborative approach to the research in this space, UT is not only shaping the future of care but also making sure that patients and their families realize benefit from this innovation.”

Despite the considerable attention devoted to Health AI, some populations are overlooked in its development and potential benefits. For example, research suggests that the implicit biases in health-based data sets often influence the design of algorithmic models that can lead to disparate and negative impacts on underserved populations. Similarly, AI-informed medical devices may perform poorly when used to treat patients from under-tested populations.

To address these sorts of challenges, the IC² Institute and Dell Med seek research that falls into two broad categories:

  1. Relating to the use of Health AI in safety-net contexts, research that seeks to deploy AI to better understand disparate health outcomes with greater computational nuance and precision
  2. Believing that the design of future Health AI will benefit from diverse voices and expertise, research that demonstrates innovative and effective ways to engage community stakeholders in the design and deployment of Health AI.

The IC² Institute and Dell Med are open to research projects that explore health and well-being disparities in relation to geography (i.e., rural or urban); gender/sexuality; race and ethnicity; socio-economic status; and chronic diseases.

As the first part of a two-step review process, the deadline for concept paper submission is May 24, 2024. Select applicants will then be invited to participate in an interactive workshop in June and asked to submit final proposals in July. Additional details and application instructions can be found here.

Learn more about UT’s “Year of AI” initiative and other AI news and campus events at yearofai.utexas.edu.


Tags: TexasAI, Health & Well Being, IC2 Institute, Dell Medical School, Research, Technology




Posted on

April 2, 2024