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Revolution in Medical Research Through AI

Researchers at the Johannes Kepler University of Linz and the Medical University of Vienna make use of artificial intelligence to push the boundaries of life sciences and medical technology. Their work shows how AI is accelerating the development of new medicines and improving complex diagnostic processes, thus setting new standards in medical research.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are playing an increasingly important role at the dynamic interface of life sciences and medical technology. In addition to Johannes Kepler University (JKU) of Linz and the Medical University of Vienna, this innovative field is also being driven forward by the newly appointed Prof. Clemens Dlaska at the Medical University of Innsbruck. His expertise in theoretical physics and medicine will enable him to concentrate on the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning in cardiology as a means of exploring new paths in digital medicine.  

Assoc. Prof. Günter Klambauer at JKU Linz made a name for himself thanks to the development of the intelligent image search engine “CLOOME”. This enables the identification of medicines which have similar effects on cells, thus potentially contributing to the acceleration of medicine development. At the same time, Prof. Georg Langs heads the Computational Imaging Research Lab at the Medical University of Vienna, which focuses on applying AI in imaging and diagnostics. The work carried out by the laboratory underlines the value of interdisciplinary collaboration, bundling expertise from the fields of biomolecular research, medicine, and technical disciplines in order to deal with complex research questions.  

The strategic efforts of the Medical University of Vienna designed to develop a comprehensive AI strategy reflect the institution’s commitment to fully exploit the possibilities enabled by KI and ML. The university is home to 15-20 laboratories focusing on AI, demonstrating the diversity and breadth of the research activities in this area. The cooperation with leading European research institutions and companies within the context of the "ELLIS Machine Learning for Molecule Discovery Program" spearheaded by the Johannes Kepler University of Linz shows the significance of networking and exchange of know-how and resources. Such partnerships contribute to shortening research paths and promoting the discovery and development of new active ingredients.  

Alongside universities, numerous companies conduct outstanding research in this field, e.g., ImageBiopsy Lab, which supports doctors in converting medical image data into diagnostic findings, DirectSens, specialising in the early detection of diabetes, and Fianostics/INOOlab, a pioneer in the field of advanced laboratory diagnostics. Saphenus Medical Technology, founded in Austria in 2016, is known for its research into the world’s first sentient prosthesis, which has received numerous awards. Ottobock, which operates a facility in Vienna, has been developing innovative products in the field of medical technology for more than 100 years, and sets standards in providing people with prosthetics and orthotics. Ottobock continuously invests in research and development, as reflected by its R&D expenditures equalling 7% of its annual revenue in 2022. 

These initiatives demonstrate the enormous potential of linking artificial intelligence to life sciences and medical technology. They show how the use of leading-edge technologies can accelerate research and drive the development of diagnostic methods and therapies. 

Read more about MedTech and the life sciences sector in Austria  

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