Health IT, Hospitals

OWKIN initiates AI research network made up of 44 organizations

The goal of the OWKIN Loop Network, which includes hospitals and research institutions in the United States and Europe, is to advance knowledge sharing in the medical research field.

OWKIN, a New York City-based company that provides machine learning tools for medical research purposes, has launched an AI-powered network comprised of 44 hospitals and research institutions in the United States and Europe. Members include Cleveland Clinic, Mount Sinai and Groupe AP-HP, a group of 39 hospitals in France.

Dubbed the OWKIN Loop Network, the initiative allows researchers to train predictive models on real-world data and transfer the gained knowledge to a collective intelligence. Fellow researchers, partner hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are then able to use the information to refine patient treatment and expedite drug R&D.

The overall aim is to advance knowledge sharing, preserve patient privacy and help create better patient outcomes.

A few projects made possible by the network include predicting brain age from MRIs and training a predictive model that pinpointed a combination of quantitative biomarkers associated with prognosis in a rare form of cancer.

In a phone interview, OWKIN co-founder and CEO Thomas Clozel described the initiative’s approach as extracting knowledge from research models and transferring the gained information to pharmaceutical organizations so they can improve clinical trials.

“We believe in intelligence sharing,” he said. “That’s a new way to build research.”

OWKIN was founded in 2016 by Clozel, a former oncologist, and Gilles Wainrib, who has a PhD in applied mathematics and previously worked on applying machine learning algorithms to biology and medicine.

The startup’s flagship platform is called OWKIN Socrates. With it, users can develop predictive models and optimize drug development. Additionally, OWKIN offers services such as data science and technology assessments.

This year, the New York City company raised $16 million from investors such as Otium Venture, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Cathay Innovation and NJF Capital.

Photo: MF3d, Getty Images