Nearly 153 exabytes of healthcare-related data were generated in 2013; this number will increase by 48% annually to reach 2,314 exabytes in 2020 , , . While machine learning can benefit from this “big data” to generate state-of-the-art models, most healthcare data is hard to obtain due to legal, privacy, technical, and data-ownership challenges, especially among international institutions where HIPAA and GDPR concerns need to be addressed , .
Federated learning, introduced by Google in 2017, is a distributed machine learning approach that enables multi-institutional collaboration on deep learning projects without sharing patient data. In 2018, Intel began a collaboration with the Center for Biomedical Image Computing and Analytics (CBICA) at the University of Pennsylvania to show the first proof-of-concept application of federated learning to real-world medical imaging  (Figure 1). Our initial study demonstrated that federated learning could train a deep learning model (U-Net, ) to 99% of the accuracy of the same model trained with the traditional data-sharing method (Figures 2 and 3). In September, we presented our results at the Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) in Granada, Spain. We recently published our results in the Springer’s Lecture Notes in Computer Science .
Currently, the University of Pennsylvania and 19 other institutions worldwide are leading the first real-world medical use case of federated learning. Intel will provide support to the project by leveraging the capabilities of our Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and Intel® Software Guard Extensions (Intel® SGX). We will show how Intel technology can enhance the security of federated learning by protecting both the data and the model being trained. Our hope is that Intel can provide researchers with the technology to create solutions for federated learning that will enable generalizable, state-of-the-art healthcare models while increasing the protection of sensitive patient data. Learn more about our AI initiatives in health & life sciences and follow us to get the latest AI news from Intel.
Intel is partnering with the University of Pennsylvania and 19 other medical research institutions on development of a secure federated learning platform, which will enable collaborators to train a shared machine learning model for healthcare without exchanging confidential patient data.
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