About the Project

Technology is not the biggest barrier for adopting artificial intelligence in the healthcare sector, it’s more likely to be an organization’s culture.

The emergence of AI-enabled clinical decision-making and expert systems that simulate clinical reasoning are rapidly emerging in areas of medicine and clinical care such as dermatology, radiology, pathology, radiation medicine, wound care, and symptom management/monitoring. Yet there is still a fundamental lack of understanding of how AI can and should be used in many healthcare fields. Most healthcare professionals have not been educated in the safe and effective use of AI and yet they must safely adopt these technologies and shift their scope of practice.

Over the next two years, a team led by The Michener Institute of Education at UHN and Vector Institute  will focus on transforming the skillset and mindset of front-line healthcare professionals to build a workforce with the knowledge, skills, and capabilities to power AI enabled health practices, organizations, and systems.

Future Skills Centre is investing $1.52 million in this two-year project that will address the huge knowledge gap in how to educate and train health professionals in the effective, appropriate, safe, and compassionate use of AI. In order to put the needs of patients first in creating a healthier world using AI, the project will also involve patients in the design and development of programs.

“AI-enabled clinical decision-making and expert systems that simulate clinical reasoning are rapidly emerging areas of medicine and clinical care, yet there is a lack of understanding of how AI can and should be used in many healthcare fields and professions,” says project co-lead Dr. David Wiljer, Executive Director of Digital Education at The Michener Institute of Education at UHN.

“The potential for AI to transform the delivery of healthcare through predictive and preventive AI therapeutics is tremendous. We believe this project will help fill an enormous knowledge gap in how to educate and train the healthcare workforce to use AI in effective and compassionate ways.”

“Vector Institute currently has a number of projects  underway with the potential to translate world-class AI research into health benefits for patients. These projects will have the greatest impact if there is an AI-enabled healthcare workforce,” says project co-lead Laurent Moreno, Director of Health AI Applications at Vector Institute.

“This is a unique opportunity to combine the expertise of our two organizations,” says Roxana Sultan, Vice President, Health at Vector Institute. “Our partnership will facilitate the education of healthcare workers in cutting-edge AI techniques, strengthen health system capacity to achieve the potential benefits of AI in health service delivery, and demonstrate how machine learning can support clinicians in providing better services to Canadian patients.”

Key Project Components & Deliverables

Transforming the MINDSET: Deliverable 1

The first stage, Transforming the Mindset, will develop basic AI awareness and literacy through a series of symposia for the healthcare community, aiming to help them embrace the culture of AI.

Reach goal: 5000 HCPs

Transforming the SKILLSET: Deliverable 2 & 3

The second stage, Transforming the Skillset, will involve the development and delivery of certificate programs tailored to practicing clinicians and healthcare leaders.

Reach goal: 180 clinicians through three cohorts & 50 leaders through two cohorts

Transforming the TOOLSET: Deliverable 4

The third stage, Transforming the Toolset, will provide healthcare teams with mentoring and coaching support for starting AI projects.

Reach goal: 20 projects supported

Project Timelines

Program Design: September 2020 – August 2022
Program Delivery: October 2021 – January 2023
Evaluation, Assessment & Scholarship: September 2020 – March 2023

Accelerating the Adoption of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre . Le projet est financé par le Centre des Compétences futures du gouvernement du Canada.FutureSkills-VI-Michener Logos