CLEMSON, S.C. (WSPA) – A Clemson-led coalition of South Carolina researchers has formed to modernize healthcare diagnostics and treatment in South Carolina with the use of Artificial Intelligence.

“Our program concentrates on two issues,” Dr. Bruce Gao, the ADAPT Scientific lead and South Carolina SmartState Endowed Chair of Bio Fabrication Engineering at Clemson said. “One is AI, another is Biomedical Device. We call it AI-enabled biomedical devices.”

The National Science Foundation announced a $20 million dollar, five-year investment in a multi-institutional project called Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Devices for the Advancement of Personalized and Transformative Health Care in South Carolina or ADAPT-SC.

Dr. Bruce Gao tells us this project will help provide better treatment across the state and optimize rehabilitation.

He says the key to improving South Carolina’s public health is early diagnosis, which allows for prompt intervention and improved outcomes. 

“For the average doctor, the accuracy of a diagnosis is less than 60%, for a famous expert it is about 75%,” Gao said. “But data shows that using AI techniques, the accuracy is over 90%.”

He tells us AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of patient data, including medical records, lab results, and imaging scans to identify patterns and detect early signs of disease.

“We have several important goals,” Gao said. “Of course, the first one is to foster research. Second, we want to educate and train the next generation of the workforce so they have the ability to develop AI devices.”

Dr. Gao believes the collaborations across the state are important as well, making South Carolina stronger and more advanced. 

Collaborators include the University and Medical University of South Carolina, Benedict College, Claflin, South Carolina State, Francis Marion, and Winthrop Universities along with the College of Charleston, The Citadel, and Tri-County Technical College.

“It is very important,” Gao said. “The reason is with each individual institution we now have a strong ability to compete nationally. We are in a poor state. However, if we collaborate together we will become very strong.”

ADAPT project leaders tell us they will also implement programs to encourage K-12 students to explore careers in STEM.