Public Release: 

Doctors and machines combine intelligence to prevent deadly lung failure

$1.2 million government grant will allow Montefiore Einstein to advance use of artificial intelligence in hospitals

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

NEW YORK (October 22, 2018) - A new artificial intelligence (AI) tool is being built to help doctors better identify and treat a deadly, but underrecognized, form of lung failure. Approximately 200,000 people in the United States suffer from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which occurs when the lungs fill with fluid, and organs are deprived of oxygen. The challenge is that up to 40 percent of the time it can be missed.

"ARDS is underrecognized because these patients are often extremely ill and have other life-threatening conditions, such as shock, pneumonia, or trauma. Since diagnosis depends on the patient meeting a number of criteria, it is easy for one of the criteria to be attributed to another acute condition, rather than to ARDS," said Dr. Michelle Ng Gong, chief of Research, Critical Care at Montefiore Health System and professor of medicine and of epidemiology & population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "By using new technology we hope to help clinicians identify ARDS as early as possible, when treatment may be most effective."

Funded by a $1.2 million Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality grant, the new tool will screen patients throughout Montefiore and flag people at risk of developing ARDS. Once identified, clinicians will receive guidance on the best practices for treating patients with the condition.

To create the screening tool, researchers and data and computer scientists are building off of Montefiore Einstein's existing AI platform, combing through years of de-identified patient data to determine dozens of critical, objective data points for ARDS. After developing a profile, the AI will run in the background of the electronic medical record system, flagging any patients who match the profile created for ARDS. This ARDS-specific tool is an extension of the work already conducted by the Critical Care and health data teams at Montefiore Einstein, which shows that AI can improve outcomes for people with another lung condition--severe acute respiratory failure.

"We have seen the power of AI and predictive analytics to accurately pinpoint patients at risk for other critical conditions and believe AI can be effective in helping clinicians identify patients with ARDS too," said Parsa Mirhaji, M.D., Ph.D., director of Clinical Research Informatics, director of the Center for Health Data Innovations at Montefiore Einstein and associate professor, Systems and Computational Biology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "The ultimate goal is for AI to become a standard tool for clinicians, helping them provide the best care for our patients."


About Montefiore Health System

About Montefiore Health System Montefiore Health System is one of New York's premier academic health systems and is a recognized leader in providing exceptional quality and personalized, accountable care to approximately three million people in communities across the Bronx, Westchester and the Hudson Valley. It is comprised of 11 hospitals, including the Children's Hospital at Montefiore, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and close to 200 outpatient care sites. The advanced clinical and translational research at its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, directly informs patient care and improves outcomes. From the Montefiore-Einstein Centers of Excellence in cancer, cardiology and vascular care, pediatrics, and transplantation, to its preeminent school-based health program, Montefiore is a fully integrated healthcare delivery system providing coordinated, comprehensive care to patients and their families. For more information please visit Follow us on Twitter and view us on Facebook and YouTube.

About Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, part of Montefiore, is one of the nation's premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. During the 2017-2018 academic year, Einstein is home to697 M.D. students, 181 Ph.D. students, 108 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and 265 postdoctoral research fellows. The College of Medicine has more than 1,900 full-time faculty members located on the main campus and at its clinical affiliates. In 2017, Einstein received more than $174 million in awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in aging, intellectual development disorders, diabetes, cancer, clinical and translational research, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Its partnership with Montefiore, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. Einstein runs one of the largest residency and fellowship training programs in the medical and dental professions in the United States through Montefiore and an affiliation network involving hospitals and medical centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn and on Long Island. For more information, please visit, read our blog, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and view us on YouTube.

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