Unique partnership aims to embed Artificial Intelligence into healthcare practice

Toronto, ON – The Michener Institute of Education at UHN and Vector Institute are setting out to transform the skills and capabilities of front-line healthcare professionals in the application of artificial intelligence (“AI”) to health services. Thanks to a two-year, $1.52 million grant from Future Skills Canada, the organizations will partner with other healthcare and academic groups to empower a workforce with the knowledge, skills, and capabilities to embed AI in patient care with compassion.

The project, called Accelerating the Adoption of Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare, is a unique opportunity that brings together some of the world’s top AI minds in Canada to teach healthcare professionals. This unique partnership combines comprehensive AI and education design expertise with access to real-time clinical practice and patient feedback. The goal is to develop and evaluate new approaches to better equip healthcare organizations and professions with the skills required to accelerate the adoption of new technologies.

“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.”

“The current crisis is creating a great deal of uncertainty for Canadian households and sectors. An economic recovery that works for all Canadians will require that we start to build a skills development ecosystem that is more responsive to the changing realities of workers and employers,” says FSC Executive Director Pedro Barata. “These partnerships will help us map out lasting solutions that will help Canadians across the country recover now and thrive in the years to come.”

There are three stages to the project. The first stage, called Transforming the Mindset, will develop a basic AI awareness and literacy training program for clinical staff, aiming to help them embrace the culture of AI. The second, Transforming the Skillset, will involve the development and delivery of advanced AI literacy and training programs. The third, Transforming the Toolset, will develop AI leaders through more intensive training programs. A monitoring and coaching program will also be established to help make the learning ‘stick.’

More details about the project are online at Michener.ca/acceleratingAI

About The Michener Institute of Education at UHN

Established in 1958, The Michener Institute of Education at UHN is Canada’s only post-secondary institution devoted exclusively to health sciences education and the only health sciences school within a hospital network in Canada. Michener offers full-time and continuing education in Imaging, Medical Laboratory Sciences, Medical Radiation Sciences, Primary and Critical Care and other specialized applied health programs. With a robust and responsive curriculum that emphasizes inter-professional collaboration and simulation-based training, graduates are prepared to deliver quality diagnostic and therapeutic services. Michener is publicly funded by the Ministry of Health and further enriched through partnerships with universities, private sector companies and leading health care organizations. For more information, visit us at michener.ca.

About Vector Institute

Vector Institute is an independent, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to advancing artificial intelligence, excelling in machine learning and deep learning. Our vision is to drive excellence and leadership in Canada’s knowledge, creation, and use of AI to foster economic growth and improve the lives of Canadians. The Vector Institute is funded by the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada through the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy administered by CIFAR, and industry sponsors from across the Canadian economy.

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.


Jacqueline Waldorf
Director of Communications and Marketing, The Michener Institute of Education at UHN

Ian Gormely
Communications Specialist, Vector Institute