UF Utilizes AI to Develop $2.3M Veterinary Record Database

by | Nov 20, 2023

The University of Florida (UF) has launched a $2.3 million project to revolutionize veterinary medicine through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The goal is to create a state-of-the-art veterinary record database that will serve as a valuable source of information. This initiative will enable researchers to integrate their work into clinical operations, leading to significant advancements in disease treatment, particularly cancer.

UF President Ben Sasse emphasizes the importance of removing barriers to cancer treatment. The development of an AI-enabled digital imaging platform will play a crucial role in achieving this goal. By using innovative AI tools, specifically in comparative oncology, researchers aim to uncover common causes of cancer in animals and humans, benefiting the concept of One Health.

Over three years, the project will secure $2.3 million in funding. The aim is to establish a comprehensive data enterprise that will contain a wealth of information from UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine’s clinical caseload across different animal species. The initial phase will focus on digitizing information collected through diagnostic imaging, a crucial part of veterinary oncology practice.

This ambitious project not only promises to benefit animal patients at UF but also has the potential for significant advancements in human health. By leveraging UF’s expertise in canine clinical trials, researchers aim to pioneer breakthroughs in cancer research and drug discovery.

The development of a cutting-edge AI-enabled digital imaging platform will facilitate the collection, organization, and analysis of patient data. This will grant UF scientists unprecedented access to new avenues of discovery. The innovative veterinary learning health care system will enable the customization of medical solutions using molecular and genomic data sets, ultimately leading to the development of precision medicine.

Dr. Janet Robishaw, the college’s associate dean for research and graduate studies, expresses her enthusiasm about the project, highlighting that it will drive continuous discovery and clinical innovation for researchers. Dr. Dana Zimmel, the College of Veterinary Medicine’s dean, envisions the project as a transformative force in veterinary medicine, positioning UF as a national leader in the use of AI for advancing research in animal health.

The success of this project depends on strong collaborations both within UF and externally. Key leadership from the UF Health Information Technology Division is actively involved, working alongside a passionate team of internal college collaborators from various disciplines. This collective effort aims to ensure the project’s success and facilitate a better understanding of One Health for the next generation of students, scientists, and clinical professionals.

The project also aims to address challenges in implementing personalized cancer diagnoses and treatments. Given the limited number of veterinary pathologists and the diverse nature of cancer disorders, the AI algorithms developed in subsequent phases of the project will establish reliable preclinical, comparative, and translational research models.

Cancer remains the leading cause of death for companion dogs, presenting a significant challenge. However, UF is committed to tackling this issue head-on with the development of this state-of-the-art veterinary record database. The collected datasets will serve as a valuable resource for identifying new biomarker patterns and evaluating their clinical outcomes. Ultimately, this will lead to improved treatments for both animals and humans.

UF’s position as a land-grant institution with a world-class health system in UF Health will foster collaborations with leading investigators across the university. The veterinarians of the future will have access to analytical and diagnostic tools never before available, enhancing their understanding of animal diseases and paving the way for groundbreaking advancements in veterinary medicine.

In conclusion, UF’s $2.3 million project to develop an AI-enabled veterinary record database is set to transform the field of veterinary medicine. By integrating cutting-edge technology, researchers and clinicians will gain access to an unprecedented wealth of data, fostering innovation and revolutionizing disease treatment, particularly cancer. This initiative showcases UF’s commitment to One Health and positions the university as a national leader in the use of AI for veterinary research, benefiting both animal and human health.