Bengaluru: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have signed an MoU to collaborate on a national initiative toward the creation of high-quality medical datasets representing India’s diversity. ICMR and IISc will develop a technology-enabled hubs-and-spokes system for collecting and curating data through institutions across the country, Bengaluru-based IISc said in a statement.
ARTPARK (AI & Robotics Technology Park), a not-for-profit foundation promoted by IISc, will serve as the initiative’s partner for technology development and programme management.
Artificial Intelligence solutions – for screening, diagnosis, and decision support – hold much promise to improve access to healthcare, and boost productivity and effectiveness of health human resources at all levels, it was noted.
“Quality-assured and curated medical imaging datasets that truly represent India’s diversity of people, settings, and needs will accelerate research and innovation to realise that promise,” the statement said.
“Such independent, benchmark data will also help assess AI-based tools developed by startups and companies, and thus accelerate deployment in practice”.
By leveraging premier medical institutions as hubs and bringing together experts from both medicine and data science, the team driving this initiative will help standardise data collection from many “spoke” institutions, IISc said.
It will also help curate that data and aim to make them available in accordance with applicable policies and laws, to the broader community of researchers and innovators.
IISc Director Prof Govindan Rangarajan said, “Our goal is to bring together the best of technology, data science, and medical research to improve healthcare. This partnership with ICMR will enable us to do exactly that by creating invaluable datasets to propel the next generation of innovations for India and the world.”
ICMR’s Senior Financial Advisor Rajeev Roy said the MoU would enhance the outcome of the investment by providing value-added, reusable data sources to researchers from medical research and engineering institutions.