Precision Health Equity Initiative

Disparities in healthcare and health outcomes are well documented. The Precision Health Equity Initiative provides a new lens for addressing these disparities using recent advances in AI to improve the quality, accessibility and delivery of care for those at greatest risk.

Background and Mission

The Precision Health Equity Initiative (PHEI) was established in 2022 by Dr Rakesh Patel as a fiscally sponsored project of the UnaMesa Association. As a leading Radiology Oncologist, Dr Patel leads several efforts to improve Breast Cancer detection and treatment. With early detection, more than 99% of women survive breast cancer. Unfortunately, too many women who are at elevated risk of developing breast cancer do not get timely or appropriate screenings and develop later stage cancers where survival rates fall to below 30%.

Recent advances in "Deep Learning," a form a Artificial Intelligence that learns from large datasets, have demonstrated the ability to assess the short term risk of developing cancer. These methods have been developed and validated in research settings -- see, for example, this and related articles: "Assessing Cancer Risk from Mammograms: Deep Learning Is Superior to Conventional Risk Models." The big question remains whether these kinds of risk models can be translated into clinical practices that provide better experiences for patients and better health outcomes than the existing "one size fits all" guidelines of current practice.

PHEI was developed to answer this question by developing and demonstrating how risk based approaches can form the foundation for personalized care that ensures those most at risk receive the care needed to achieve their optimal health especially for those who are not well served by the current system.

Vision

Support the development and real world testing of technological innovations that reduce inequities in healthcare and improve outcomes by delivering better, more personalized care experiences.

Mission

  • Translating advances in machine learning and related technologies to improve early detection and treatment of breast cancer and other clinical conditions
  • Partnering with other organizations to pilot strategies to accelerate the development and testing of precision screening services and related technologies with the core purpose of advancing health equity and improved outcomes
  • Supporting real world trials of Precision Screening technologies and related efforts