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Beyond Better Health

Anant Madabhushi believes artificial intelligence can quickly determine the best approaches to defeat cancer—and it also can spare patients the physical and financial pain of interventions unlikely to help them.

A prime example can be found in Madabhushi’s findings relating to lung cancer—work that Prevention magazine deemed one of 2018’s “10 Most Incredible Medical Breakthroughs.”

Using biopsy images, he and his team trained computers to be able to tell which lung cancer patients would benefit from chemotherapy— and which would not. The Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics, led by Madabhushi, has seen similar success with head and neck cancers, as well as breast cancers in their early stages.

With research showing that roughly 40 percent of cancer patients deplete their life savings within two years of diagnosis, such results give reason for hope across multiple fronts—so much so that Madabhushi has begun conversations with Weatherhead School of Management faculty regarding potential implications for health care costs.

“Being a very curious person, I’m always interested in gaining multiple different perspectives,” he said, “and every so often, you have this eureka moment and you’re able to really move the needle forward in a way that doesn’t just result in another paper, another algorithm. You find something that just might reach that patient who needs it.”

“Being interdisciplinary, to me, is more than a buzzword. It embodies how biomedical engineering needs to be done.”

—Anant Madabhushi

F. Alex Nason Professor II of Biomedical Engineering

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