Ramón y Cajal, 12 de Octubre, and Sant Pau hospitals implement a groundbreaking project using Artificial Intelligence models on chest X-rays while assuring patient data privacy

Madrid, May 20, 2021. – Intel and Cisco, with the collaboration of Capgemini Engineering, Vodafone Spain, and Gilead, have powered a groundbreaking technology project to fight COVID-19. Combining Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques with advanced security, computing and networking, three leading hospitals – Ramón y Cajal, 12 de Octubre, and Sant Pau- are now able to exchange expert knowledge to enhance COVID-19 diagnosis, while strictly respecting patient privacy.

The project is based on Federated Learning, an AI privacy preserving technique that allows collaborating entities to share a common Artificial Intelligence model for medical images diagnosis that does not share any specific patient indetificable data.

Each hospital has an on-premise Cisco UCS server compute node powered by Intel Xeon Scalable processors with Intel Software Guard Extensions and built-in AI acceleration that trains a local AI model based on each hospital’s patient images. The locally trained models are sent to a central server in the cloud that aggregates the data to continuously improve the model. None of the parties involved can access all the underlying data or any sensitive patient information, and the model IP remains protected on the edge computing nodes, thanks to Intel SGX technology that isolates data in memory.

 Collaborative Cloud Model

Capgemini Engineering is developing the Artificial Intelligence model through its specialized unit Tessella, allowing healthcare professionals to leverage advanced diagnosis tools from any location.

Vodafone Spain supplies the connectivity among the hospitals and the servers provided by Intel and Cisco, through a completely private, secure and guaranteed connection. Vodafone Spain connectivity allows the locally trained models to be securely transmitted to the central server.

Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company, expert in virology and early developer of an effective COVID-19 treatment, has supported this project from the beginning, with the goal of contributing to gaining control of the pandemic.

The Project has been financed with contribution from Intel and the Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program for Spain, called Digitaliza. Expanding upon success of this collaborative AI model, it could be used in the future to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple diseases.

“Optimizing clinical experience, facilitating the Telemedicine and contributing to the research is essential to save lives. After donating networking, collaboration tools and security technologies to field hospitals and senior homes in Spain, we want to continue our contribution in the fight against the pandemic,” highlights Andreu Vilamitjana, Cisco Spain General Manager. “Together with our partners and through Digitaliza, we accelerate the digitalization of Healthcare for a more effective and inclusive healthcare.”

“Intel believes that new technologies like Cloud Computing, the Intelligent Edge and particularly Artificial Intelligence are going to radically transform Healthcare. Intel SGX applied in this project, and available in all 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, is a fundamental technology that helps ensure privacy and security during application execution, and is a key enabler for techniques like Federated Learning. We are excited to collaborate with the hospitals and our partners in this groundbreaking project in Spain,” says Norberto Mateos Carrascal, General Manager Intel Iberia.


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