It was only a year ago that we convened in southern California for AIMed19 with over 600 of us in attendance, and not one of us would have predicted that it was to be the last such gathering for most of us for a long while. This year, in the spirit of celebrating artificial intelligence during the COVID-19 pandemic, we launched the AIMed AI Champions Awards in several categories. During the week, virtual sessions focused on the hot topics of this year of artificial intelligence in healthcare.

The first topic of the week was Education of AI in Healthcare. This session had an inspiring gathering of clinicians at all levels of education of artificial intelligence. The winner of the AI Champion Rising Star award, Dr. Addison Gearhart, eloquently stated that she did not allow her lack of formal artificial intelligence education to be a deterrent in creatively using it as a resource for completing projects and building programs. Dr. Randall Wetzel, an ardent supporter of using data to improve medicine for several decades, also felt that one must have a balance of supreme self confidence and genuine humility so that one can be open to learn from others. Drs. Hamilton Baker, Michael Finley, and Robert Hoyt were valuable additions to the panel in discussing the nuances of education in this domain.

The second session of the week focused on COVID-19 Recovery Strategies Using AI. We honored the Artificial intelligence in Medicine and Imaging (AIMI Center) of Stanford University as the AI Champion Hospital and Institution of the Year award winner, and Drs. Curtis Langlotz and Matthew Lungren graciously accepted the award. Their takeaway based on their experience was to think broadly about the applications of AI in healthcare and to include all stakeholders. We also honored Dr. Rizwan Malik and the Royal Bolton NHS Foundation Trust for their work as the AI Champion Best COVID-19 Solution award winner. He concurred with the aforementioned winners that this is perhaps the best time to get involved in AI in healthcare. Drs. Claudia Hoyen and Scott Campbell, both on the frontlines battling COVID-19, joined our winners for an insightful discussion on the pandemic.

After a mid-week break, we returned with the third session The Ethics of AI in Healthcare and honored our AI Champion Non-Clinician of the Year award winner Jeremy Howard, the founder of fast.ai, for not only his AI expertise but also his global health advocacy work. He expounded on his foray into healthcare as a most difficult but supremely important dimension of his career. The outstanding panel of Drs. Sara Gerke, Victor Garcia, and Orest Bolko rounded out the hour with a robust discourse on the myriad of issues of ethics of AI in healthcare, from access and equity to adoption and transparency of AI.

Our whirlwind week of AI in healthcare concluded with our last session, Extended Reality and Other Future Applications of AI in Healthcare. I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Eric Topol, the winner of the AI Champion Clinician of the Year award. He espoused the tenet of putting the patient first in adoption of technologies to preserve the physician-patient relationship. Our forward-thinking innovators panel of Drs. Hamilton Baker, Alfonso Limon, Matthieu Komorowski, and Joseph Morgan enlightened the attendees with a well-rounded and fast-paced discussion on a portfolio of topics such as internet of things, GPT-3, extended reality, deep reinforcement learning, digital twins, and other futuristic topics with relevance to AI in healthcare.

I would like to thank the winners of the AI Champions awards as well as the faculty members and the attendees for this outstanding week. I would also like to express my deep gratitude to Joe Kiani and Bilal Muhsin of Masimo as well as our AIMed team leaders, Freddy White, Alexis May, Andrew Johnson, Jack Halliday, Ally Baker, and Toni Jenner.

The popular AIMed Clinician Series will return next year in an even bigger and better format every quarter of the year. We are planning to host in person our annual meeting AIMed in January 19-22 in 2022 at the sublime Ritz-Carlton resort in Laguna Niguel, southern California.

We look forward to seeing you next year and soon in person.

Meanwhile, next week, look out for my ten predictions for AI in healthcare in 2021!