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Strange dreams help your brain learn better (18.05.2022)

A new study by researchers from the University of Bern, Switzerland suggests that dreams—especially those that simultaneously appear realistic, but, upon a closer look, bizarre—help our brain learn and extract generic concepts from previous experiences. The study, carried out within the Human Brain Project and published in eLife, offers a new theory on the significance of dreams using machine learning inspired methodology and brain simulation.

Predicting Urinary Infection with AI (05.05.2022)

In a special Issue on Urinary Stones and Infections of Diagnostics, the Inselspital, the University of Cologne and the University of Bern have published a recent AI-guided analysis of urine samples from emergency patients. The assessment of 3835 samples revealed that AI can safely rule out urinary infections in 96 percent of cases. However, for a high-confidence AI prediction of positive infections and infection types, using UFC parameters alone is not sufficient.

Cortical oscillations in neural networks (06.04.2022)

Dealing with uncertainty is a big challenge for our brain. Led by the University of Bern, researchers from Heidelberg University, the Jülich Research Centre and Graz University of Technology have identified a new computation role for cortical oscillations that support sampling-based computations in spiking neural networks.

Inti Zlobec elected Digital Pathology Professor (31.03.2022)

The University of Bern has elected Inti Zlobec as Professor of Digital Pathology as of April 2022. The position is one of several new professorships in the field of artificial intelligence and digitalization in medicine that have been created as part of a new research focus in this area.

AI enables personalized treatment of myocarditis (24.03.2022)

A research team from the University of Bern and Inselspital, University Hospital Bern is investigating and developing innovative approaches that will enable personalized diagnosis and treatment of myocarditis. Artificial intelligence will allow individual risk assessment and progression prognosis in the future. The project has received funding from the CAIM Research Project Fund for 2022/23.

Media release Insel Gruppe, 24 March 2022 (PDF, 133KB) Medienmitteilung Insel Gruppe, 24. März 2022 (PDF, 233KB)

CAIM supports Ukrainian scientists (10.03.2022)

The Center for AI in Medicine supports scientists from Ukraine in these difficult times. Following the measures and call from the Swiss National Science Foundation to help Ukrainian researchers as well as the University of Bern’s initiative to solidarize with Ukraine and its universities, CAIM calls its members and partners to reach out and proactively seek ways to help our colleagues.

Bayesian prevalence estimation in a nosocomial outbreak (09.03.2022)

Nosocomial pathogens in hospitals require strict screening and prevention. To better understand their dynamics and the impact of control measures, a team of infectiologists, data scientists and clinical chemists from the Inselspital applied a Bayesian hierarchical model to a nosocomial outbreak. Authors conclude that such models provide a more flexible platform to study transmission dynamics.

CAIM funds five translational projects (10.02.2022)

Twenty teams submitted their projects to the first CAIM Research Projects Fund call. After a peer-reviewed assessment by external reviewers and a pitching round, the CAIM Management and Steering Committee have selected five projects to be funded with up to CHF 100,000 each over the coming 24 months.

CNN quantifies ureteral stent encrustations (08.02.2022)

Location and extent of encrustation in ureteral stents for different diseases may be informative for patient management and the development of newer stent generations. The Urogenital Engineering Lab at ARTORG has investigated stent encrustation patterns from stone and kidney transplant patients in collaboration with the Inselspital and the Cantonal Hospital Olten, quantifying them via a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) model.

AI to prevent malnutrition in hospitals (17.01.2022)

During hospitalization, especially older patients are at risk of eating too little, leading to loss of muscle mass and higher risks of infection and mortality. The AI in Health and Nutrition lab, ARTORG Center, has introduced an AI-powered system to automatically assess each patient’s energy and macronutrient intake by comparing pictures taken before and after each meal. In collaboration with the Geriatrische Klinik St. Gallen and the Inselspital, the team has assessed the systems’ performance.

Bern Data Science Initiative launched (17.12.2021)

The Bern Data Science Initiative, BeDSI, is an initiative of data driven research groups and research centers of the University of Bern. It is designed to weave a flexible network lead by scientists into the university’s traditional structures. BeDSI was launched on December 6, 2021. In an interview three initiators, Christiane Tretter, Raphael Sznitman and Tobias Hodel, explain why this network is so important for the future.

PeriVision wins EIT Wild Card 2021 (15.12.2021)

PeriVision, a MedTech spin-off from the ARTORG Center (AI in Medical Imaging lab) has won a prestigious European Wild Card in the 2021 challenge. The Bernese startup will be receiving an investment of EUR 1.5M along with specific coaching, which the founders will use to finalize their first product and prepare its EU and US market launch. PeriVision aims to reimagine glaucoma patient monitoring by making visual field testing much more patient-friendly and cost-efficient.

University of Bern at the NeurIPS 2021 (07.12.2021)

Paul Haider from the Computational Neuroscience Group of the Physiology Department, University of Bern, will hold an oral presentation at the Thirty-fifth Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2021) entitled "Latent Equilibrium: A unified learning theory for arbitrarily fast computation with arbitrarily slow neurons”.

CAIM launches Expert Directory (01.12.2021)

To map the wealth of know-how in developing, validating, and translating AI technology into healthcare inside the Bern Medical Hub, CAIM is launching an Expert Directory. A first version of the Directory goes online today with a non-exhaustive list of clinical and data science experts from the University of Bern, Inselspital, UPD and sitem-insel. Registration is rolling and can be done at caim.unibe.ch/experts.

When algorithms get creative (10.11.2021)

Uncovering the mechanisms of learning via synaptic plasticity is a critical step towards understanding how our brains function and building truly intelligent, adaptive machines. Researchers from the University of Bern propose a new approach in which algorithms mimic biological evolution and learn efficiently through creative evolution.

Medienmitteilung Universität Bern, 10 November 2021 (PDF, 38KB) Communique de presse, Université de Berne, 10 novembrre 2021 (PDF, 128KB)

Neuromorphic deep learning with first spike times (20.10.2021)

Researchers at Heidelberg University and University of Bern have recently devised a technique to achieve fast and energy-efficient computing using spiking neuromorphic substrates. Just as energy consumption and reaction times are critical to a biological agent operating under environmental pressure, engineered systems need to achieve the desired results with as few and as early spikes as possible, thus optimizing their short time-to-solution and low energy-to-solution characteristics.

Link to the study
News article TechXplore, 5 October 2021
Media release University of Heidelberg, 29 October 2021

Illustration of the on-chip classification process with the Yin-Yang dataset. Each symbol represents the spike time delay for various classifying neurons (J. Göltz & L. Kriener et. al.)

Pulmonary fibrosis: reliable prognosis thanks to AI (14.10.2021)

A research team from the Universities of Zurich, Oslo and Bern and their respective University Hospitals has published results on AI-supported image analysis of pulmonary fibrosis, which occurs in rare systemic sclerosis. By applying methods of radiomics analysis, the researchers, led by principal investigator Prof. Britta Maurer, have produced surprisingly clear risk profiles that offer a promising basis for future personalized patient management.

Medienmitteilung Insel Gruppe, 14. Oktober 2021 (PDF, 191KB) Media release Insel Gruppe,14 October 2021 (PDF, 391KB)

Advancing AI image interpretation for clinical use (01.10.2021)

AI is increasingly used in image interpretation for diagnosis and treatment planning. A research team from Inselspital, Bern University Hospital and the University of Bern demonstrated in a study that the current methods of qualifying AI for brain segmentation could be enhanced. Deviations of currently used parameters do not correlate with clinically relevant changes of the radiation dose distribution. For wide implementation of AI based software with real added value in treatment quality a stronger focus on clinically relevant outcomes is needed.

Deep learning predicts subtypes in colorectal cancer (20.09.2021)

The research team of Prof. Zlobec, Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, has proposed a deep learning method for quantifying extracellular mucin-to-tumor area in colorectal cancer (CRC). This histomorphology feature is an important indication to predict consensus molecular subtypes and clinical outcome. The study contributes to their final research goal: improve CRC patient stratification, prognosis and treatment prediction using deep learning and multi-omics data.

Opening of NeuroTec research facility (15.09.2021)

The NeuroTec research facility was opened by Insel Gruppe, together with the University of Bern and sitem-insel, on the Insel Campus in Bern on Tuesday, 14 September 2021. NeuroTec pools the clinical knowledge of Inselspital, University Hospital Bern, and the expertise in medical technology of the University of Bern, while further expanding Bern’s leading position in neurology pioneered by Prof. Dr. Claudio Bassetti and his team.

Medienmitteilung Insel Gruppe/NeuroTec, 15. September 2021 (PDF, 312KB) Media release Insel Gruppe/NeuroTec, 15 September 2021 (PDF, 393KB)

Bayesian Brain for Tinnitus (10.09.2021)

The Hearing Research Lab of the Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, and the ARTORG Center has developed a generative computational model for tinnitus, based on the Bayesian brain concept. The model is able to explain several perceptual tinnitus phenomena that are to date poorly understood. It can be applied for future research and treatment approaches by linking experimental observations with theoretical hypotheses.

User Preferences of Nutrition Apps (03.09.2021)

The Artificial Intelligence for Health and Nutrition lab at the ARTORG Center has conducted a study of adult smartphone app users for health and diet monitoring. In collaboration with the Inselspital and CentraleSupélec, the researchers sought to explore the perspectives of end users on the features, current use, and acceptance of nutrition and diet mHealth apps with a web-based survey. Goal was to provide user insights to assist researchers and developers in building innovative dietary assessments.

AI-assisted personalized radiotherapy (05.07.2021)

With new premises, the Department for Radio-Oncology at Inselspital is becoming a state-of-the-art center for the radio-oncological treatment of cancer patients. Three latest-generation devices are available for precise radiation therapy. With Varian's "Ethos", Inselspital is the first center in Switzerland to implement AI-assisted adaptive radiotherapy for patient-centered, personalized medicine. This opens up new opportunities for collaboration and research avenues in AI technologies in the framework of CAIM.

AI improves speech understanding of hearing aid users (30.06.2021)

In noisy environments, it is difficult for hearing aid or hearing implant users to understand their conversational partner because current audio processors still have difficulty focusing on specific sound sources. In a feasibility study, researchers from the Hearing Research Laboratory, at the University of Bern ARTORG Center and the Inselspital ORL Department are now suggesting that artificial intelligence could solve this problem.

Medienmitteilung Insel Gruppe, 30. Juni 2021 (PDF, 259KB) Media release Insel Gruppe, 30 June 2021 (PDF, 484KB)

AI could soon tell you, how often to see the eye doctor (08.06.21)

Three of the most common chronic eye conditions require regular medical check-ups and injections into the eye by ophthalmology specialists to keep looming blindness at bar. A study by the University of Bern and the Inselspital in collaboration with an AI in eye care startup now demonstrates that patients’ individual ideal frequency for these visits can quite accurately be predicted by machine learning – yielding a threefold benefit.

Link to the study

Study setup (© Artificial Intelligence in Medical Imaging Lab, ARTORG Center)

Medienmitteilung Insel Gruppe, 8. Juni 2021 (PDF, 284KB) Media release, Insel Gruppe, 8 June 2021 (PDF, 186KB)

Bern Data Science Day established (01.06.2021)

Data science research is on the rise at the University of Bern. For an initial stocktaking of ongoing projects in various faculties, the first Data Science Day was recently held. Following the great success of the pilot edition, the event is now to be held annually.

Space technology in the operating theater (12.05.2021)

The instruments were developed to search for signs of life on other planets. But now they will also be used to distinguish healthy nerve cells from brain tumor cells. A conversation with astrophysicist Brice-Olivier Demory and Raphael Sznitman, an expert in machine learning and artificial intelligence, about their BrainPol project. Ori Schipper reports on a new collaboration project between the Center for Space and Habitability and the ARTORG Center AI in Medical Imaging lab.

Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine opens (19.03.2021)

The Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (CAIM) of the University of Bern and the Insel Gruppe with the partners sitem-insel and the Bern University Psychiatry Services UPD will be officially inaugurated today. The virtual opening event with 500 registered participants offers insights into controversial topics and current research projects on Artificial Intelligence in Medicine.

Medienmitteilung, Universität Bern, 19. März 2021 (PDF, 79KB) Media Release, University of Bern, 19 March 2021 (PDF, 95KB) Interview Raphael Sznitman, UniAktuell, 19 March 2021 (PDF, 2.2 MB)

Using AI to assess surgical performance (12.03.2021)

Lavanchy & Beldi, Insel Gruppe

A research team at Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern and Caresyntax has succeeded in proving that artificial intelligence can reliably assess surgeons’ skills. A method involving a three-stage procedure has been presented that correctly designates good and mediocre performance with a high accuracy rate. This paves the way for further steps towards AI-supported expert systems.

Medienmitteilung, Insel Gruppe, 12. März 2021 (PDF, 124KB) Media release, Insel Gruppe, 12 March 2021 (PDF, 138KB)

Efficient treatment of stroke with AI and federated learning (09.03.2021)

A research team of Inselspital, University Hospital Bern, the University of Bern and the «Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois» (CHUV) uses AI to improve efficiency of treatment after stroke. The project Advanced Stroke Analysis Platform (ASAP) applies federated learning that links the database of each hospital center without exchange of raw data. Innosuisse, the Swiss innovation agency, promotes the project.

ASAP federated learning setup (JPG, 46KB) Medienmitteilung Insel Gruppe, 9. März 2021 (PDF, 165KB) Media release Insel Gruppe, 9 March 2021 (PDF, 175KB)

Reliably predicting progression of Covid-19 (03.03.2021)

Inselspital, Bern University Hospital and the University of Bern are currently launching the world’s first multicenter, international study on AI-assisted prediction of severe progressions of Covid-19. The research uses artificial intelligence to evaluate extensive clinical, image-morphological and laboratory data. The study, which is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, aims to provide reliable predictions as to whether a specific case would lead to a severe progression of Covid-19.

Multi-omics approach (JPG, 149KB): Complex data, consisting of CT, X-ray data, clinical and laboratory data, serve the AI algorithm as a basis for the prognosis of the acute (7-day) and chronic course. (Alexander Poellinger, Inselspital).

News report Inselspital, 3 March 2021

Deep learning reads tissue microarrays of colorectal cancer (10.02.2021)

Tissue microarray (TMA) core images are a treasure trove for AI applications. But a common problem with TMAs is multiple sectioning of the TMA block, which can change the content of the core and requires re-labelling of each spot image. The Institute of Pathology of the University of Bern has investigated different ensemble methods for colorectal tissue classification using high-throughput TMAs. Their high-accuracy algorithm for colorectal tissue classification into “tumor“, “normal“ or “other” tissue showed very good predictive accuracy and is amenable to images from different institutions, core sizes and stain intensity.

A NEAT reduction of complex neuronal models accelerates brain research (27.01.2021)

Unlike their simple counterparts in AI applications, neurons in the brain use dendrites – intricate tree-like branches – to find relevant chunks of information. Now, neuroscientists from the University of Bern have discovered a new computational method to make complex dendrite models much simpler. This could enable AI applications to process information much like the brain does.

Medienmitteilung Universität Bern, 27. Januar 2021 (PDF, 65KB) Media Release University of Bern, 27 January 2021 (PDF, 122KB)

AI for quality assurance in radiation therapy planning: Project funded (18.01.2021)

The Medical Image Analysis group at the ARTORG Center, University of Bern, received funding support from the Swiss Cancer League to work on AI technologies for quality assurance in Radiation Therapy planning, in partnership with the Radiation Oncology Departments of the USZ and the Inselspital.

PI Mauricio Reyes comments: “We are thankful for this support as it has the potential to create a new generation of technologies dedicated to improve quality assurance aspects in radiation therapy planning.” The project ranked third out of seventy seven submitted projects.

Medical Imaging Analysis group, ARTORG Center

Figure Segmentation Dose Combination (MIA) (JPG, 493KB)

Thomas Sauter receives endowed professorship in emergency telemedicine (15.01.2021)

(photo: Pascal Triponez © University of Bern)

Thomas Sauter, Head of Education, eHealth and Emergency Telemedicine at Bern University Hospital's emergency center has been appointed by the University Executive Board for an endowed professorship in emergency telemedicine. The assistant professorship was established thanks to the support of the Touring Club Switzerland (TCS). It deals with "eHealth" in the field of emergency medicine and is one of the very few of its kind in the world.

Medienmitteilung, Universität Bern, 15. Januar 2021 (PDF, 90KB) Media Release, University of Bern, 15 January 2021 (PDF, 144KB) Communique de Presse, Université de Berne, 15 janvier 2021 (PDF, 127KB)

Sinergia project on trans-omics against colorectal cancer to start (06.01.2021)

The University of Bern Institute of Pathology has won a Swiss Science Foundation Sinergia grant to develop an integrative computational and clinical perspective on colorectal cancer, an important cause of cancer-related mortality in Switzerland. In collaboration with the ZHAW, the Institute of System Biology, ETH Zürich and IBM Research, the group will improve patient stratification, prognosis and treatment prediction via an AI-driven multi-modal classifier trained to predict molecular classification and identify other important clinical variables.

Smartphone verifies compliance with Mediterranean diet (29.12.2020)

The ARTORG Artificial Intelligence in Health and Nutrition lab, the Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute of the University of Zurich and Oviva SA have together developed a smartphone application to automatically estimate whether a person adheres to a health-promoting Mediterranean diet. First results of the novel system are promising.

AI X-ray analysis detects Covid-19 more reliably (11.12.2020)

A team of researchers at Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, and the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Research, University of Bern, has developed a new chest radiography image analysis for the detection of COVID-19. The algorithmic method was trained for various diagnoses on 8000 X-ray images. The researchers compared this artificial intelligence (AI) with standard, diagnostic annotation by radiologists. Especially for distinguishing Covid-19 from non-Covid-19 lung disease, AI provided significantly more reliable results.

Medienmitteilung, Insel Gruppe, 11 December 2020 (PDF, 213KB) Media release, Insel Gruppe, 11 December 2020 (PDF, 184KB)

AI to exploit the potential of the world’s fastest whole-body PET/CT scanner (02.12.2020)

Recently, the world’s fastest whole-body PET/CT scanner was installed at the Inselspital, Bern University Hospital. The scanner renders 4D images for a 106 cms field of view in just a few seconds, opening up new dimensions in research, diagnostics and therapy management. Kuangyu Shi, member of the Bern Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (CAIM) and Head of Lab for AI and Translational Theranostics at the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Inselspital, explains how AI can help alleviate the challenges the new technology poses: "AI allows us to fully explore the machine’s potential. We can thus delve deeper into our research on AI and translational theranostics and customize clinical practice.”

AI for total body PET/CT (PDF, 92KB)

Bern founds Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (17.11.2020)

The University of Bern and the Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, are founding a “Center for Artificial Intelligence in Medicine” (CAIM) that combines cutting-edge research, engineering and digitalization. Using artificial intelligence it will develop new medical technologies to enable tailor-made and efficient patient care. Partners of the new center are sitem-insel, the Swiss Institute for Translational and Entrepreneurial Medicine, and the University Psychiatry Services (UPD).

Medienmitteilung, Universität Bern, 17 November 2020 (PDF, 97KB) Media release, University of Bern, 17 November 2020 (PDF, 128KB) Communique de presse, Université de Berne, 17 novembre 2020 (PDF, 134KB)