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NYU Langone Hosts Symposium & Datathon to Redefine Technology for Healthcare & Patient Experience

Datathon Is the First Ever Hosted by an Academic Medical Center in New York City

NYU Langone Health hosted its first annual Datathon and second annual Health Tech Symposium at its Science Building, located at 435 East 30th Street, in New York City. On May 9, attendees of the Health Tech Symposium listened to the keynote speeches on the main stage and participated in a variety of hands-on experiences, including a virtual reality, mentoring at an artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning Data Bar, as well as three lectures from leaders in the healthcare technology space.

On May 10 and 11, a group of clinicians, data scientists, and engineers worked with mentors from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Google to find new ways to answer actual clinical questions using large datasets from electronic health records.

Nader Mherabi Speaks to Symposium Attendees

Nader Mherabi welcomes guests to the second annual NYU Langone Health Tech Symposium on May 9.

“Today we are joined by a community of nearly 800 health technology, artificial intelligence, data science, and design enthusiasts—all gathered to share ideas, discuss trends, and learn new skills,” said Nader Mherabi, senior vice president and vice dean, chief information officer at NYU Langone Health, in his introductory remarks. “At NYU Langone Health, our goal is to transform the digital patient and clinician experience. We want to offer digital tools to our communities that meet their specific needs, that make their lives easier, and that feel more personal and considerate. We want to empower our patients, their families, and our team of care givers. That means leveraging these new techniques, and doing so in a way that puts the priorities of our patients, their families, and our clinicians first.”

Health Tech Symposium

Phillip Nelson, director of engineering of Google Research, was the keynote speaker and discussed his vision for the ways that machine learning can be used to advance healthcare and lessons learned from cases where machine learning was improperly applied. Yvonne W. Lui, MD, director of AI in NYU Langone’s Department of Radiology and project lead of NYU Langone’s collaboration with Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Research group discussed the latest applications of AI in imaging. Together, after their individual talks, audience members were able to participate in a fireside chat between the two speakers.

“We’re not here just to replicate or improve on human capabilities, but maybe even create entirely new capabilities,” said Dr. Lui. “AI is going to change the way we practice medicine. There is a huge need for partnership and cooperation among data scientists, biologists, medical experts, experts in law and bioethics, and so on.”

Dr. Yvonne W. Lui

Dr. Lui during her presentation at the second annual NYU Langone Health Tech Symposium on May 9.

Following the keynote, 8 teams of aspiring entrepreneurs made their pitches for a $30,000 prize in the Biomed Venture Challenge, sponsored by NYU Technology Ventures and Partnerships. Each team posed clinical questions to the audience, explaining their process and what they hope to learn. The When to Wonder app team won the challenge for its digital platform that transforms the way that parents support young children’s mental health by giving parents the tools to understand, monitor, and support their young child’s emotional and behavioral challenges in their homes. The team is comprised of Helen L. Egger, MD, the Arnold Simon Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, chair of the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and director of the Child Study Center; Tim L. Verduin, PhD, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, director of Technology and Innovation, and clinical director of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Behavior Disorder Service; as well as additional support team members.

Off the main stage, additional sessions, lectures, and hands-on experiences took place throughout the day. Sessions included the following:

  • Experience VR: The Inevitability of Immersive Computing, Greg Dorsainville, NYU Langone Health
  • AI and Machine Learning Data Bar, Yindalon Aphinyanaphongs, MD, PhD, and Eduardo Iturrate, MD, NYU Langone Health
  • Data Science for the Non-Data Scientist, Alisa Surkis, PhD, NYU Langone Health
  • How to Publish a Clinical Machine Learning Paper: Relevant Questions at the Intersection of Medicine and Data Science, Dr. Aphinyanaphongs
  • Data: The Rocket Fuel for Artificial Intelligence in Medical Research, Thomas Henson, Dell Technologies
  • The Many Uses of Data at NYU Langone Health, Dr. Iturrate


During a 24-hour period, Datathon participants worked in teams to find new ways to answer actual clinical questions using large datasets from electronic health records. Leveraging the MIMIC Critical Care Database, the interdisciplinary teams collaborated to answer questions developed by the teams using data science techniques. MIMIC is an openly available dataset developed by the MIT Lab for Computational Physiology, comprising de-identified health data associated with approximately 40,000 critical care patients.

Datathon Participants Working on Laptops

Participants working in teams during the healthcare Datathon.

Following their marathon working session, teams presented their findings to a panel of judges, and one team was named the winner of the first annual competition.

This healthcare Datathon was the first ever held in New York City.

Media Inquiries:

Kate Malenczak
Phone: 646-754-7367

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