DAMO Academy Partners Up With WHO Collaborating Center On Digital Health To Advance Medical AI

DAMO Academy, Alibaba Group’s research institute, has announced its partnership with the WHO Collaborating Center on Digital Health to advance innovations in digital health and bring the benefits of medical AI to more developing countries.

As the first of its kind in the Western Pacific region, the WHO Collaborating Center on Digital Health supports WHO in digital health information exchange, scientific research, international standards and technical training with its member countries.

The launching ceremony of the strategic partnership between WHO Collaborating Centre On Digital Health and Alibaba DAMO Academy takes place at the AI for Good Global Summit, the leading United Nations platform promoting AI to advance health and other global development priorities, held in Geneva on May 30th.

Under the partnership, they will leverage their respective resources to conduct research and provide advisory in the fields of digital health, artificial intelligence, industrial development to support international organizations such as the World Health Organization and the International Telecommunication Union.

Given the inter-disciplinary nature of AI and digital health, they will also jointly conduct training related to medicine, engineering, digital health, artificial intelligence, industrial development, and other areas to help both parties cultivate professional talents with comprehensive capabilities in the field of digital health.

The WHO Collaborating Center on Digital Health will also leverage its resource to help DAMO Academy bring the benefits of medical AI to more developing countries, actively advance the international outreach of digital health, and promote health and wellness through technology.

“In forging this partnership with the WHO Collaborating Center on Digital Health, DAMO Academy embarks on a mission to make the benefits of medical AI accessible to those in need. Together, we aim to improve healthcare for those in need through the advancements in medical AI development and digital health accessibility,” said Le Lu, Head of DAMO Academy’s medical AI team.

“By pooling our collective expertise and leveraging cutting-edge AI technology, we are set to drive transformation in digital health, especially for developing countries. Our collaboration symbolizes not just a shared vision but a joint commitment to harnessing digital innovations to foster global health and wellness,” said Shan Xu, Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Digital Health.

The medical AI team at DAMO Academy is collaborating with top global medical institutions to explore cost-effective and efficient new methods for multi-cancer screening using AI technology.

It has achieved significant progress in the early detection of seven common cancers through a single CT scan, including pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, liver cancer, gastric cancer, and colorectal cancer.

In a large-scale, real-world pancreatic cancer detection test, its AI model achieved a sensitivity of 92.9% and a specificity of 99.9%, according to a study published in Nature Medicine magazine by DAMO Academy in collaboration with over 10 medical institutions.

The technology has been applied in two hospitals in Lishui city in China’s Zhejiang province as part of Alibaba’s philanthropy program.