VA to employ artificial intelligence, precision medicine for veterans

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs signs five-year deal with San Francisco-based Flow Health to apply AI in making care plans personalized.
By Bernie Monegain
10:18 AM
VA artificial intelligence precision medicine

The Department of Veterans Affairs will work with Flow Health to build a medical knowledge graph to inform decision-making and train artificial intelligence to personalize care plans.

The objective of the 5-year partnership, Flow Health executives said in a statement, is to understand the common elements that make certain people susceptible to particular diseases, to pinpoint effective treatments and identify possible side effects in order to inform care decisions.

VA and Flow Health’s work will entail integrating large volumes of data in the quest to discover relationships between genomes and phenotypes.The goal is to learn what every gene variant means, to identify disease risk, to make more precise diagnoses and to suggest individualized treatments.

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“Our mission is to advance healthcare by applying the latest artificial intelligence techniques to improve the detection, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases,” Flow Health CEO Alex Meshkin said in a statement.

Flow Health is building a knowledge graph of medicine and genomics comprising more than 30 petabytes of longitudinal clinical data drawn from VA records on 22 million veterans spanning more than 20 years. All patient information will be de-identified during analysis to protect privacy.

Flow Health chief medical officer Robert Rowley, MD, added that deep learning models require large data sets.

“Developing artificial intelligence which can automatically identify the best diagnostic and treatment pathways will assist clinicians in delivering precision medicine to every veteran," Rowley said. 

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