The EU is funding "AI-POD" to the tune of some EUR 5.3 million. The University of Bonn is coordinating the 11-strong consortiumHow can artificial intelligence (AI) help to predict the risk of obese people suffering from cardiovascular diseases? A total of eleven partners from eight countries have formed a consortium to launch the AI-POD research project, which is being coordinated by the University of Bonn. Over the next four years, the European Union (EU) will be providing around ¤5.3 million in funding for the project as part of the Horizon Europe research and innovation program.
Experts from various fields including radiology, imaging research and industry will spend the next few years developing a state-of-the-art AI risk score that will aid clinical decision-making as well as a mobile app that can produce personalized risk assessments and predictions of cardiovascular diseases caused by obesity and related complications.
Obesity is a serious problem in Europe that affects over 436 million people and increases the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases by 50 percent. It costs the economy more than ¤210 billion a year. There are hopes that AI will significantly improve the precision and practicality of the methods currently used to assess risk. "Trustworthy AI Tools for the Prediction of Obesity-Related Vascular Diseases" (AI-POD) is designed to integrate clinical, laboratory and imaging data in order to translate an individual’s risk of illness into tangible diagnostic measures and recommendations for treatment.
"With AI-POD, we’re pushing the boundaries of clinical knowledge concerning cardiovascular diseases in obese patients," says the project’s coordinator Ulrike Attenberger, Director of the Clinic for Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at the University Hospital Bonn and a member of the Life & Health Transdisciplinary Research Area at the University of Bonn. The aim, she explains, is to develop trustworthy AI tools that both aid clinical decision-making and enable patients to monitor and control their own health more effectively. Says Attenberger: "With this project, we want to make cardiovascular diseases in obese patients much less severe and frequent while also having a positive impact on public health finances."
The AI-POD project is being validated at six clinical sites across Europe. It is geared toward establishing a permanent interdisciplinary platform that also tackles other kinds of vascular disease. In the process, the members of the consortium also want to put an ethical framework in place that addresses some of the concerns raised over these new technologies and evaluates their acceptance, desirability and user satisfaction. The AI-POD project is intended to inject fresh momentum into the prediction and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and thus improve the health of millions of Europeans along the way.