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Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES)

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The Daily Beast

Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School have created an artificial intelligence program that can accurately identify a patient’s race based off medical images, reports Tony Ho Tran for The Daily Beast. “The reason we decided to release this paper is to draw attention to the importance of evaluating, auditing, and regulating medical AI,” explains Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi.

Stat

During the AI Cures Conference, Prof. Regina Barzilay spoke with Food and Drug Administration senior staff fellow Amir Khan about how the agency intends to regulate artificial intelligence in medicine, reports Casey Ross for STAT.  “’My thinking is that models should be regulated based on their functionality, and not necessarily on the input data they use,” said Barzilay. 

The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe highlights Robert Buderi’s new book, “Where Futures Converge: Kendall Square and the Making of a Global Innovation Hub.” Buderi features the Future Founders Initiative, an effort by Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, President Emerita Susan Hockfield and Prof. Emerita Nancy Hopkins aimed at increasing female entrepreneurship. 

Stat

STAT reporter Katie Palmer spotlights Principal Research Scientist Leo Anthony Celi’s research underscoring the importance of improving the diversity of datasets used to design and test clinical AI systems. “The biggest concern now is that the algorithms that we’re building are only going to benefit the population that’s contributing to the dataset,” says Celi. “And none of that will have any value to those who carry the biggest burden of disease in this country, or in the world.”

Stat

STAT reporters Katie Palmer and Casey Ross spotlight how Prof. Regina Barzilay has developed an AI tool called Mirai that can identify early signs of breast cancer from mammograms. “Mirai’s predictions were rolled into a screening tool called Tempo, which resulted in earlier detection compared to a standard annual screening,” writes Palmer and Ross.

Salon

Salon reporter Elizabeth Landau spotlights the work of researchers from MIT and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in uncovering how Covid-19 can affect the ear. Viruses such as Covid-19, “all have these tentacles that seem to touch the ear, but nobody’s been able to study them because the ear is so inaccessible,” says Prof. Lee Gehrke. “So that’s the part that I think I get most excited about. Now we have a way to look at these things in a way that we were not able to do before.”

The Washington Post

MIT researchers are developing innovations aimed at improving Covid-19 diagnostics, including an atomic-level test designed to increase testing accuracy, reports Steven Zeitchik for The Washington Post. Professor James Collins and his team are developing “a mask that uses freeze-dried technology to detect the coronavirus.”

Good Morning America

Prof. Regina Barzilay speaks with Good Morning America about her work developing a new AI tool that could “revolutionize early breast cancer detection” by identifying patients at high risk of developing the disease. “If this technology is used in a uniform way,” says Barzilay, “we can identify early who are high-risk patients and intervene.”

The Washington Post

Washington Post reporter Steve Zeitchik spotlights Prof. Regina Barzilay and graduate student Adam Yala’s work developing a new AI system, called Mirai, that could transform how breast cancer is diagnosed, “an innovation that could seriously disrupt how we think about the disease.” Zeitchik writes: “Mirai could transform how mammograms are used, open up a whole new world of testing and prevention, allow patients to avoid aggressive treatments and even save the lives of countless people who get breast cancer.”

Salon

Researchers from MIT and Massachusetts Eye and Ear have found that Covid-19 can cause long-term issues with a patient’s ear, reports Matthew Rozsa for Salon. The researchers found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is capable of infecting the hair cells of the inner ear, as well as (to a lesser extent) the Schwann cells,” Rozsa explains.

Forbes

Forbes reporter William A. Haseltine spotlights an MIT and Massachusetts Eye and Ear study that finds the inner ear can be infected by Covid-19. “When exposed to SARS-CoV-2,” writes Haseltine, the researchers, "found that the vestibular hair cells on the inner ear, which helps us keep our balance and sense head movements, had an infection rate of 26%, making them particularly vulnerable." 

Scientific American

Scientific American reporter Emily Sohn writes that MIT researchers have found that vision and hearing can be impacted by the virus that causes Covid-19. “The data are growing to suggest that there are more neural consequences of this infection than we originally thought,” says Prof. Lee Gehrke.

Reuters

Reuters reporter Nancy Lapid writes that researchers from MIT and other institutions have found that Covid-19 can infect cells in the inner ear, which “may help explain the balance problems, hearing loss and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears experienced by some COVID-19 patients.”

HealthDay News

A new study by MIT researchers finds that Covid-19 may impact the inner ear, affecting hearing and balance, reports Robert Preidt for HealthDay News. “Their results suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can infect the inner ear, specifically hair cells that are crucial for hearing and balance,” writes Preidt. “To a lesser degree, the coronavirus can infect Schwann cells, which insulate neurons.”

CBS Boston

A new tabletop device developed by researchers from MIT and other institutions can identify Covid-19 variants in a person’s saliva, reports CBS Boston. “We tried to limit the number of user steps to make sure it was as easy as possible,” explains graduate student Devora Najjar.