Experts in AI
The development of efficient, accurate, safe and fare applications for medical practice require a transdisciplinary and collaborative approach between various actors including engineers in mathematics and bio-informatics, technicians, statisticians, clinicians, researchers but also patients, policy makers and legal/ethics experts.
To favor the development of AI for Health, the French Government supported the creation of four Interdisciplinary Institutes of Artificial Intelligence (3IA) in France: Nice-Sophia Antipolis « 3IA Côte d’Azur », Grenoble « MIAI Grenoble Alpes », Paris « PRAIRIE », and Toulouse « ANITI ».
For more information, please find the link of the National Strategy of the French Government for AI: https://www.intelligence-artificielle.gouv.fr/fr/projets/instituts-interdisciplinaires-d-intelligence-artificielle-3ia.
The development of the 3IA Institutes in France has allowed to create and very dynamic and efficient infrastructure to federate actors of AI and accelerate advances in the field. The Institutes favor the development of international collaborations with partners of excellence and are a very fertile ground for innovations with collaborations with both academic and industrial partners.
Dr Juliette Raffort-Lareyre is chair holder at the Institute 3IA Côte d’Azur and her team is working on the development of AI applications to improve care in patients with cardiovascular diseases ().
The Institut 3IA Côte d’Azur brings together hundreds of researchers working in the field of digital health and intelligent territories with the participation of various institutions such as the CNRS, Inserm, Inria, the Sophia Antipolis agglomeration community and the Nice Côte d’Azur metropolis, and schools such as EURECOM, MINES ParisTech and SKEMA Business School.
Our goal through the arterIA website is to share with you our passion for medicine and research; to help you discover who the players in research are, how they work and interact, and what recent advances have been made in the field of cardiovascular diseases, particularly in AI.
When it comes to the field of health, close collaboration with health professionals is obviously essential in order to develop applications that are relevant, efficient and safe for patients. This implies both the participation of health professionals, including medical and paramedical staff, and also of patients, with the possible involvement of their relatives and families. Links between healthcare structures and AI institutes have gradually been established, allowing doctors, researchers, scientists, engineers and mathematicians to work hand in hand to develop the medicine of tomorrow.
University hospital centres (CHU) as well as territorial hospital groups (GHT) are thus at the heart of the necessary collaboration between the world of AI and the field of Health. The GHTs, have been set up by the 2016 French health law, enable peripheral centres to be associated with a university hospital centre (CHU) in order to optimise patient care, but also to carry out teaching and research missions.
Transdisciplinary collaboration between AI professionals and health professionals is thus of utmost importance to develop applications that are safe, effective and meet the needs of clinical practice. AI applications in health need to be developed and trained on medical data. In order to obtain applications that can be useful and representative of all patients, it is necessary to train software on a very large volume of data (big data). In this context, various European networks have been developed so that health institutes can pool their efforts across Europe to collect and work on medical data in order to develop excellent research, while guaranteeing respect for ethics and data security. In the field of vascular diseases, two networks, of which Fabien Lareyre is one of the French representatives, have recently been created and are very dynamic:
In parallel, groups and associations have been created on a European scale to encourage interaction between health professionals, researchers, but also patients, their families, or anyone interested in research into cardiovascular diseases. Here are two non-exhaustive networks that focus on aortic diseases:
There is thus a strong need to develop and promote transdisciplinary collaborations at international level :
It represents an essential pillar for the development of AI for all, in the service of tomorrow’s medicine, with the aim of better preventing and treating diseases.
Infrastructures and fundings
The National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence has made it possible to strengthen infrastructures on the territory (in particular with the creation of the 4 3IA Institutes since April 2019) and has made it possible to strengthen France’s position in the sector on a global scale. Almost 700 million euros have already been invested out of the 1.5 billion euros planned between 2018 and 2022.
In practice, how is the development of an AI application in Health financed? Schematically, we can distinguish 2 paths to finance an application, which can be intertwined and not exclusive of each other:
The academic path
The principal investigator (PI) applies for a funding for his research project. Calls and fundings to finance research in the field of health in France are diverse. The amounts of funding granted and the eligibility criteria vary according to the type of project and its scope (including, for example, the duration of the project, the number of centres involved and the expected benefits). Some examples are given below:
- Internal calls for funding within a healthcare structure.
- Funding from the town hall, departmental council or regional council.
- Funding by associations, medical and scientific societies or sponsorships.
- PHRC (Hospital Clinical Research Program): this enables the funding of multicentre projects, involving several healthcare structures.
- National calls for proposals: funding by the National Research Agency (ANR), the Foundation for Medical Research (FRM), the “Fondation de France”.
- European calls for projects : Horizon project, European Research Council
Partnership with industry
Partnerships with industrials, companies, large groups, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or start-ups are possible, particularly in the field of AI, to finance a project.
Future4care is a European ecosystem dedicated to digital health that aims to bring together partners all over Europe involved in e-Health.
Below are some links that could be useful for anyone looking to finance their project, including a list of current calls for projects:
- National Call for Research: https://anr.fr/#
- Foundation for Medical Research: https://www.frm.org/fondation
- Fondation de France: https://www.fondationdefrance.org/fr/
- Horizon Project: https://www.horizon2020.gouv.fr
- European Research Council: https://erc.europa.eu/funding/starting-grants
What is the purpose of the funding?
The funding dedicated to the realization of a research project is of a variable amount with a predefined budget and most often with a deadline for use. The allocated budget is used to carry out the project and may include mainly the purchase of materials and equipment needed for the project as well as the funding of the people who will work on the project. AI in Health is a very broad field and the success of this type of project implies a transdisciplinary collaboration between AI professionals and health actors. The funding obtained allows to finance PhD, post-doctoral students, engineers, technicians, computer scientists or clinical research associates who will work on the project.